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A Distant Sun - "VI MMIX – Mourning The Idol" (Demo)

A Distant Sun - "VI MMIX – Mourning The Idol" Demo cover image

"VI MMIX – Mourning The Idol" track listing:

1. Mourning the Idol (6:11)
2. Silhouettes of Golden Times (7:56)
3. The Burden of Silence (5:21)

Reviewed by on July 16, 2010

"The mix of black and death with serious doom undertones creates a sound that isn’t ever boring, but neither is it overly exciting."

Debut demo albums are tough to get right, and it’s pretty rare that they really wow a potential audience. A Distant Sun’s “VI MMIX – Mourning The Idol” doesn’t buck the trend much, showing off a decent amount of skill but also showing an equal amount of missed opportunity. The music manages to hit the right blend of extreme metal styles in such a way to be entertaining, but there isn’t quite enough power or feeling behind it to make a massive impact.

“Mourning the Idol” tells the tale of an ancient pagan idol that is now being abandoned and ostracized in favor of new, more modern ways. It’s a common enough idea in the world of metal, that of the old ways being destroyed by invading contemporary influences, and it should continue to work here for anyone who has enjoyed the theme in the past. Unfortunately the music follows the subject matter, ending up a bit faded, just like the lost lifestyle the band is lamenting.

The three tracks generally range from slow to mid-paced, although “Silhouettes of Golden Times” throws in some blast beats and sees more harsh vocals for a stronger black metal feel. A Distant Sun describe themselves as blackened death/doom, and all those sounds are found throughout the demo. The doom comes in with the slow, depressing, and vaguely mesmerizing guitar tones, along with a few instances of cleaner vocals. Bass lines are also heard a good portion of the time, breaking out of the black metal standard.

The mix of black and death with serious doom undertones creates a sound that isn’t ever boring, but neither is it overly exciting. While there are a few interesting changes in tempo and beat found in the tracks, it still feels like they are just slightly too long. “Silhouettes of Golden Times” is the main culprit, as there aren’t enough attention-grabbing hooks in its nearly eight minutes to warrant that long of a run time.

There is no denying that A Distant Sun has an intriguing mix of three different metal styles. The problem is that the demo doesn’t combine them with enough emotion to make the songs more than just something to get heads bobbing to a beat. The band has a full-length album on the horizon, so perhaps they’ll work out the rough spots and create something more spectacular.

Highs: Cool blend of black, death, and doom metal.

Lows: The music is a little faded and doesn't have enough power or feeling behind it.

Bottom line: An interesting mix of three musical styles that shows potential for future releases, but isn't quite spectacular yet.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)