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Sunrise – Equilibrium Award winner

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 12 July 2021, 9:46 AM

SUNRISE is a Ukrainian Power Metal band formed in 2003. Their debut full-length was released in 2007. Since then, the band released two other album…the most recent being 2016’s “Absolute Clarity.” Now, the band returns with their latest offering, titled “Equilibrium,” which contains thirteen tracks. “Wings of the Dreamer” leads off the album. It begins with a full, rich sound and some Symphonic elements. The vocal harmonies are excellent. The clean guitars in the second verse adds another dimension to the music. The lead guitarist is fantastic.

The title track opens with keys and the steady chugging of guitars, bass, and drums. This song features some darker elements…and the extended instrumental passage is very well done. The harmonies in the chorus work quite well. “We are the Fire” features some more positive tones, as the title would suggest. The vocals soar high, to almost impossible heights. The drummer is quite adept as well, churning out double and quad time kick drum notes. “Wild Swans” begins with a duet of keys and lead guitar notes. I really like the keyboards on the album. They turn it up in the chorus, letting it all hang out. Another fantastic guitar solo precedes a wonderful keyboard passage.

“Call my Name” opens with some ominous tones. This is the “power ballad” on the album. It’s has a slow, emotive pace, with clean, melancholy guitar notes and thick bass notes. They have three choruses to really drive the sound home. “Unbroken Dreams” begins with a faster pace of chugging bass guitar notes along with Symphonic elements. Vocalist Laars Naumenko has a snarl here, edging closer to harsh vocals in the verses, while the chorus is fully wide open. This track has a darker sound to it. The extended instrumental passage reminds me of the prowess of DREAM THEATER.

“Life is a Journey” feature Mayo Petranin on keys, I believe, from the band SYMPHONITY. The bass guitar notes really come through strong here, along with another well-crafted guitar solo. It builds to a crescendo at the end. “The Only Reason” opens with soft, pensive female vocals, as you remember how tender Daria’s vocals can be. This is another “power ballad” if you will. “The Bridge Across Infinity” begins with a heavier sound and some more of those dark elements. This bruiser features some nice lead guitar work and keyboard work in particular, along with outstanding vocals. Spoken words follow the mesmerizing guitar solo.

“The Shadow” is alive with sound and energy. It features a faster moving song, with thick bass guitar notes in the verses, as well as a more positive sound overall. Guitarist Maksym Vityuk shows off his lead axe skills, while keyboardist Daria Naumenko echoes the sentiment. “The Bell” begins with charming piano notes and strings, leading to some rhythmic work in the mid-section. The longing qualities come through strong here, as you feel like you are wearing your heart on your sleeve. “Nightingale” opens with darker tones. Simple yet pleasing lead guitar notes really drive this song home.

“Rebel Yell” closes the album (and it’s not a Billy Idol cover). It begins with some fat keyboard notes and some real energy. At first, I thought this was an instrumental, because the vocals are used sparingly. It would have been an outstanding instrumental but is just as good with vocals. It really puts a stamp on an almost perfect album, ending with some drum fills and big guitar and keyboard accents.

The musicianship here is outstanding. Both vocalists are excellent, as are the other band members at their respective instruments. Like the forefathers of the genre, SUNRISE is right there with them in terms of how well they craft their songs and perform them. I am having trouble figuring out how the band is not signed to a major record label…it must be by choice. The album is full of intelligent songwriting and thick, rich notes, and masterful production, so that everything sounds clear and easy to understand. Do yourself a favor and buy this now.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Wings of the Dreamer
2. Equilibrium
3. We are the Fire
4. Wild Swans
5. Call my Name
6. Unbroken Dreams
7. Life is a Journey
8. The Only Reason
9. The Bridge Across Infinity
10. The Shadow
11. The Bell
12. Nightingale
13. Rebel Yell
Laars Naumenko – Vocals
Daria Naumenko – Vocals, Keyboards
Maksym Vityuk – Guitars
Alexander Ignatenko – Drums
Vladyslav Sedov – Bass
Record Label: Independent


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