Sun Heights - The War (Cover Artwork)

Sun Heights

The War (2014)

Pee Records

It’s an interesting feeling when you start a record and after a brief musical introduction, aren't sure if the vocals are going to come in singing or screaming. In the case of Sun Heights The War, it’s the latter. Lachlan De Hayr’s roar comes soaring over the top of a big ‘ol breakdown intro. The guy has great projection and power to spare, but that’s also where things get tricky. Being loud and proud is one thing, but when your presentation is also completely monotone throughout the entire album, it can start to grate. It may sound strange to critique a “yelling band” for being monotone, but there’s something to be said about bands like Shai Hulud or Have Heart who scream their hearts out but also bring a fluctuation in intensity that seems less robotic. The guy’s got potential and as long as his throat holds out, he could eventually reach a visceral sort of ebb and flow.

Production-wise things are crisp and heavy as all hell. The guitar tones are fantastic and overall atmosphere of the record is as moody and dark as you’d hope from a band like this. Most of the beats settle into a slow groove or breakdown style with pick-ups in speed here and there to keep things interesting. Towards the second half of the record I hoped they would pick it up a little more often, as the frequent 8th note kick drum was starting to wear, which is unfortunate because I think it’s best appearance is on album-closer and title track, "The War".

The lyrics are nothing groundbreaking. There are lot’ of traditional hardcore stuff about “time fading”, “holding on”, etc., but for a young band it’s a pretty solid starting point. If you’re a big fan of the melodic hardcore sound and aren’t super picky about how people yell at you, then there’s plenty here for you to enjoy.