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Sunrise Traces To Nowhere

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1. Born Free Die Free MP3 2. Coma Is Over 3. Escape Failure 4. Traces To Nowhere 5. Compromise Zero 6. Beyond Sanity 7. Scream Bloody Murder 8. Undercover Enemy 9. Smiling Bag
2004 Lifeforce Records
Our score 7

by Cory
12/21/2004

I had put in Traces To Nowhere eleven or twelve times without successfully making it all the way through. I finally made it all the way through in one sitting today and it ended up being a little bit confusing. In typical Lifeforce fashion, this album is produced perfectly, the band is talented, and the songs are instantly memorable. But, there's something just a bit off here. OK, I lied. There's something completely absurd here. It's the vocals. This guy sounds almost exactly like a cross between Animal from the Muppets and Cookie Monster from Sesame Street. I know people often throw around the term "Cookie Monster vocals" when referring to death metal gurgles, but this guy sounds EXACTLY like the two aforementioned puppets, including the inflection in his voice. While it was fairly easy to describe the singing, the music incorporates so many unusual and interesting elements that simple comparisons can't do it justice. A good portion of the guitar work sounds like what you might find on a Lamb of God record, but the drums more often resemble At The Gates. Sunrise doesn't stop there, as most bands playing this sort of metal might. The random use of tambourine in the disc's title track struck me as particularly ingenious, as well as the first half of "Beyond Sanity," which reminded me ever-so-subtly of something Ministry might have done in their heavier songs. In fact, by the time you get to "Beyond Sanity," you may have already learned to appreciate the vocals. At the very least, you will have gotten used to them enough to appreciate the elements of Sunrise that make this album worth listening to. "Scream Bloody Murder" has a little flavor of new-school punk rock via old-school thrash. "Undercover Enemy" starts off with a riff that you'll swear you recognize, but then kicks you upside the head with a Kerry King-style guitar solo before you have time to figure out what it is. On "Smiling Bag," Sunrise even manage to slip in a few nods to Tool. Somewhere around the end of this disc though, something absolutely bizarre happened -- I started trying to imagine this band without the distinctly bizarre vocals and I couldn't do it. Bottom Line: The moral of the story is not to write off a band just because it takes some time to get used to one or more elements of their music. Sunrise isn't a mind-blowing band, but they are responsible for one of the best Lifeforce releases in recent memory. They're not afraid to be different and take chances, and while the results are not always an easy listen, Traces To Nowhere is ultimately a worthwhile album, fusing various influences from across the metal spectrum. If you've got an open mind, a love for heavy music and a few extra bucks, give Sunrise a try. Just be warned that it may take a few spins before you can appreciate their goodness.

Comments (9) post new comment
lowercasejay_ 12/21/2004 2:32:41 PM

firsty posty


ihavegas_ 12/21/2004 2:41:42 PM

cory youve done it again you crazy bastard and thats why i love ya youve managed to teach us a lesson in a review...which i didnt want to happen


a_new_religion_ 12/21/2004 5:43:17 PM

terrible vocals.


right_ 12/22/2004 3:41:18 PM

it IS animal from the muppets


Hxcobd_ 12/23/2004 2:47:14 AM

I like this band a lot. Never thought the vocals were really poor.


Cory_ 12/23/2004 11:15:30 AM

Never said poor. I would describe them as either "humorous" or "bizarre"


Hxcobd_ 12/25/2004 12:50:57 AM

I..... don't think they sound weird/humorous at all.


adam hellbound_ 12/26/2004 9:44:35 PM

This band is what Entombed would have sounded like today had they not taken the direction they did after Wolverine Blues.


Tanner_ 1/5/2005 8:42:25 PM

i knew cookie monster was metal