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The Sun Through A Telescope - "Summer Darkyard" (Digital Single)

The Sun Through A Telescope - "Summer Darkyard" Digital Single cover image

"Summer Darkyard" track listing:

1. Darkyard (6:15)
2. Cro-Magnon Nightmare (8:26)
3. I'll Die, Goodbye (6:55)
4. - (1:39)

Reviewed by on December 29, 2011

"Disturbing at times, 'Summer Darkyard' could be what a mass murderer would listen to during a jog on a bright spring afternoon."

The Sun Through A Telescope is a one-man drone doom project from Canadian musician Lee Neutron, who sticks to cassette and digital releases. The band’s latest single, “Summer Darkyard,” is four tracks of bitter ambience, noisy sampling, and melodic scales. It lacks appealability beyond those who are drone fanatics, though Neutron composes some unconventional songs that step outside drone circles. Disturbing at times, “Summer Darkyard” could be what a mass murderer would listen to during a jog on a bright spring afternoon.

Each song may function within a drone doom environment, but they each bring a twist to this sound. “Darkyard” somehow makes sense out of shrieked vocals meshing with samples of chimes and wind gusts. The combination holds out for the majority of the track, only getting electric in the last 30 seconds with a spurt of speed that is a momentary diversion from the drone. None of the other songs attempt any type of fast movement, eliminating the need for any percussion.

“Cro-Magnon Nightmare” is an accurate title for what listeners will have to go through in eight minutes. The clean guitar intro is tempting for a more restrained performance from Neutron, but those hopeful traits disappear the second feedback shrouds the song in darkness. A distorted voice speaks of the type of haunting imagery that keeps kids up at night. It’s surprising that the band goes from this to something more downtrodden and introspective on the synth-driven “I’ll Die, Goodbye.”

Blasting “Summer Darkyard” out of dinky speakers is not recommended to ascertain every microscopic nuance of The Sun Through A Telescope. It’s a merciless album, incapable of easing its way into the brain without fearful persistence. The listener will either understand and commend Neutron, or scoff at the non-linear structuring and lack of standout tunes. Unique, yet a tall task to embrace, “Summer Darkyard” is made for a cult, underground following.

Highs: Lee Neutron tries a few unique combinations in his songs, moody music meant to garner a visceral response, "I'll Die, Goodbye" is a subtle cut that has surprising melodic undertones

Lows: Can be difficult to get into, not exactly a mainstream approach even for drone doom, last track is a filler instrumental ending

Bottom line: A one-man drone doom project that will find a small audience with fans of the genre, but has little appeal beyond that group.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 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)