When it comes to reviewing material by Chicago’s post-metal behemoths Taken By The Sun, I am already a seasoned veteran. While the forthcoming, self-titled full-length, Taken By The Sun (Independent), is being touted as the band’s official debut album, the five-piece outfit have also previously released two EP’s since forming in 2011, and I reviewed them both through one of my other writing gigs here in Chicago. In other words, I have had a close ear on Taken By The Sun nearly since its inception – and while other writers will certainly give their opinions on this latest effort, I can guarantee that none of them have had as much experience with the band as yours truly.
With that being said, it is vital to mention that while the label of “post-metal” that Taken By The Sun has achieved may be essentially correct, it does not tell the whole story of the band’s cacophonous sound. Seriously, the only way to describe it is to lay down a base of Pelican-style dynamics and shoegaze, mix in a heaping helping of Isis’s hypnotic heaviness, and top it all off with the harmonic chaos of Neurosis and early Mastodon…and even after invoking the names of all those industry heavyweights, it still feels as though I have not put my finger completely on Taken By The Sun’s sound. It truly must be heard to be understood.
Consequently, Taken By The Sun is a glaringly mature step for the Chicago quintet. Topping out at over forty minutes, the eight track album is alluring, potent, and colossal. Including six brand new tracks and two classic compositions, Taken By The Sun is far and away TBTS’s finest effort to date. The production and mixing (handled respectively by Sanford Parker and Collin Jordan) smack of purpose, and it definitely seems that this album is Taken By The Sun’s breakout attempt.
Having come out on February 24th, some of the best tracks on Taken By The Sun include “Fuse,” “Red,” and my personal favorite, “Detached,” a sprawling, building mesmerizer that fully captures all of the best elements of TBTS’s unique sound. Ultimately, though, the best way to experience this stunner of an album is to listen to it from start to finish – only then can its brilliance and majesty be completely appreciated.
KEEP IT METAL! \m/
And finally, to visit Taken By The Sun on the web, please click the following links (Taken By The Sun was released on the Bandcamp page officially on 2/24/15, but you can order it there now, too!):