SKULL91

Enemy of the Sun, Caedium (2010, Massacre)

The skull:
This overly smooth skull (grimy textures notwithstanding) was obviously produced with some kind of 3D modelling software, but probably not by the guy who designed the cover, because the sun-insignia set into the skull’s dome is clearly just a slapped-on photoshop addition and not a part of the wireframe model. You can see that it doesn’t follow the contour of the pate at all. Lazy! Same goes for the very cheap-looking effect of the bullet exploding out of the right temple. It seems like this was added rather haphazardly after someone in the band asked, “Yeah, but what does this have to do with caedium?” at which point the artist looked it up and found it meant, more or less, “murder” in Latin. “How’s about, like, I add a bullet coming out of his brain?” Sold!

The music:
Enemy of the Sun is the latest project from guitarist and producer par excellence Waldemar Sorychta, following Grip, Inc. and Despair (among other lesser acts). Sorychta’s guitar style is as distinctive as his production, which makes it very hard to compare him to anyone else. No one else really makes music in the style he does, either, which is thrashy, but not thrash, and decidedly not death metal. He offers a speculative take on what thrash might have become had it evolved consistently in the decades after it’s early 90s commercial and creative death. That said, there’s a blanket of sameness draped over most of what the man has done since Despair that makes it hard to form a strong connection with it. In Grip, there were Lombardo’s drumming and Gus Chamber’s furious yelling to compensate, but none of the other players in Enemy of the Sun rise above the baseline set by the leader (although I do appreciate the diversity of tones employed by frontman Jules Näveri). On Caedium, you get solid, competent, reliable, and ultimately kind of samey songs that work well enough on their own but fail to meaningfully cohere into an album. There’s nothing at all that’s bad about this album or the band, and I’ll definitely check out anything new they produce, but I can’t say I’m exactly looking forward to it.
— Friar Johnsen

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