Melodies and heavy metal may seem like an incongruous mix. However, when combined properly, these two elements can create musical gems that are truly sublime. Such is the case with symphonic metal band Crimson Sun. The Finnish female-fronted quintet blends crushing, heavy noise with mellifluent melodies and powerful vocals to create exciting, animated songs. This year, they’re bringing their unique sound to a wider audience with the release of their debut album Towards The Light.
Crimson Sun was formed in 2001 in the city of Kotka, Finland. Over the years, the band underwent several lineup changes. Their current roster includes vocalist Sini Seppälä, guitarist Joni Junnila, bassist Jukka Jauhiainen, keyboardist Miikka Hujanen, and drummer Antti Rantavuo. Between 2006 and 2010, they released several demos and performed at venues throughout Finland. Then, in 2013, the group released their highly praised debut EP The Border. Two years later, in 2015, they released their critically acclaimed debut album Towards the Light. This year, the band held the incredible honor of performing on the Inferno Stage at the Tuska Open Air Metal Festival on July 2.
Crimson Sun Makes Modern Melodic Metal
The album’s opener “The Storm” rushes in and hits hard like a charging bullet. Heavy, slashing guitar riffs glide across a swift rhythm formed from reverberant bass riffs and vigorous drumbeats. Intersecting them are melodic keyboard interludes and operatic vocals. Collectively, they create a dramatic aura around this song. Past the 2:40 mark, the song shifts into a lively guitar solo that contributes a rugged sonic jolt. When the solo ends at the 3:10 mark, the song marches forward until it reaches its stoic conclusion.
The album’s title track “Towards The Light” possesses a similarly emphatic mood. Junnila delivers driving guitar riffs loaded with surging grooves. Layered underneath them are booming drums and cymbal crashes, and resonant, churning bass riffs. At the same time, euphonious keyboard riffs stride throughout this piece and give it a nice tinge of pensive broodiness. Last but not least are Seppälä’s grand, imposing vocals which help cement the rousing tone of this song.
Likewise, “Awaken” is all about rushing, overwhelming noise. Striking guitar riffs from Junnila and orchestral keyboard riffs from Hujanen engulf this song. Soaring on top of them are impressive, stimulating vocals that display a great puissance. Meanwhile, pounding drumbeats and deep, robust bass riffs resonate in full effect and fill the background. One of its best features is the assertive keyboard solo that emerges past the 2:33 mark. When the song concludes, it ends with a sudden fade-out.
“Clockwork Heart” opens with loud, drowning noise like all good metal songs. Fast, stentorian drumbeats and cymbal crashes from Rantavuo immediately establish a furious tempo while Jauhiainen dishes out thumping bass riffs. Together, they form a fast, pulsing rhythm. Juxtaposed to them are stirring guitar riffs and brisk, vibrant keyboard melodies. Once again, the epic, lofty vocals sung by Seppälä prove to be this track’s most prominent aspect. Overall, this song possesses an energetic feel to it.
With their debut album Towards The Light, Crimson Sun celebrates their current success and how far they have come while still remaining focused on their future goals.