SONG PREMIERE: Romanian Progressive Metal/Rock Band The Thirteenth Sun
When I think of metal and rock from Romania, one of the first words that come to mind is “atmosphere”. Each band has branched off into a different path in their respective genre, but sweeping melodies and a hint of mysticism and the unknown has often permeated metal from the country. This holds true for The Thirteenth Sun, a progressive rock/metal band that hails from Transilvania. Formed in 2011, the group released their debut EP ‘Genesis’ a year later and have been hard at work on a full length ever since. A few lineup changes and years later, the results of their efforts are about to be unveiled on May 12th when Aural Music releases ‘Stardust’. Comprised of seven songs, today we’re excited to premiere the second track Pathways to give you an idea of just what these guys are capable of.
The Thirteenth Sun covers a lot of ground over the course of ‘Stardust’, encompassing everything from airier progressive rock to much heavier riffing that brings earlier Opeth and even a little of Arcturus’ spacey sound to mind. While you’ll find both clean singing and growled vocals on the full album, Pathways showcases the cleaner side of the spectrum. Some of the other tracks launch listeners right into the heaviest peaks, but this particular piece starts off very mellow and lets the airier melodies expand naturally over the six and a half minute run time. The riff that kicks in around the one minute mark is reminiscent of the same type of mystical and otherworldly atmosphere that Negura Bunget was able to channel on albums like ‘Om’, but The Thirteenth Sun heads off in their own direction rather than retreading the same exact ground as their fellow countrymen. Around the three quarter mark there’s a noticeable increase in volume, as the instrumentals up the intensity significantly while still maintaining that entrancing atmosphere that was present from the beginning. That’s also evident in the vocal performance, as the singing comes through as much softer and delicate early on before opening up into a fuller pitch that commands your full attention.
With ‘Stardust’, The Thirteenth Sun does a fantastic job of bridging the gap between progressive metal and progressive rock while also maintaining that sense of mystique and atmosphere that I’ve come to expect from Romanian metal. There are elements that channel the sweeping beauty and complexity of 70s prog, heavier breaks and transitions that are sure to grab the metal crowd, and entrancing melodies that hold you in their grasp for the entirety of a song. It’s clear that the number of years that have passed between ‘Genesis’ and ‘Stardust’ were put to good use, and I can’t wait to spend even more time with this album and get lost in its textures. ‘Stardust’ releases May 12th on Aural Music.
The Thirteenth Sun | Aural Music