It’s time to work on the leftovers from the Year of the Lord 2021. Those that were slated for review initially but for some reason never got enough attention. One of them is the – until recently – pretty much unknown band Sun of the Suns and their debut album TIIT.
And who ever said that we won’t be covering those joint Deathcore pieces anymore? The ones that gurgle themselves through a tasty Death Metal repertoire when they’re not busy ripping everyone a new butthole with their ‘core activities.
TIIT kinda lurked around our backstage area for the better part of the year. At first, it always struck us as a somewhat artless been-here-before kind of thing. Not something we would really write home to mama about. Even if the band was able to attract the cooperation of a few heavyweights like Francesco Paoli of Fleshgod Apocalypse as a guesting drummer man.1) And truth be told, the style of this band is none too far away from FA, so I guess Sun of the Suns‘ offering didn’t hit too far off the mark for him. One would call that logical progression, right?
Yet, as sometimes happens, things need time to mature. And exactly that happened with this record. After firing up TIIT once again, it finally stuck with the review committee over at the RMR office tower. Because SotS has that tasty obsession to have burly Death Metal go full frontal with fat and downright evil rock-hard Deathcore like one of them particle colliders down in Switzerland. Let’s just hope they won’t create any black holes in the process.
And, same as others, we were a bit confused. This is one helluva debut album that shows no signs of insecurity, none whatsoever. This sounds like one of those sci-fi cyborgs that just appear fully functional. And lethal to a point, ready to roar at the audience a no moments’ notice.
The band around vocalist Luca Scarlatti has at it as if there’s no tomorrow. The record gorges with rough brutality that suddenly gets replaced by cosmic atmospheric sounds2) and wafty melodies, probably to feed the sci-fi theme that the record bases its existence on. Yet, it’s exceedingly well done, too.
The crew here marveled a few times at those smooth transitions from Death Metal to the heavy chugging of typical Deathcore. And then, there is the pretty strident guitar dialogue of the Cioffi / Righetti tag team. The towering riffing itself is already pretty astounding, but we were taken by those stellar solos that suddenly ring out (TIIT, Flesh State Drive – for example). And at certain instances, you’ll find those cool choruses that followed us around (Obsolescence Corrupted). Paoli‘s drumming fits hand-in-glove with the rest of the band’s offering, and at just the right level of power. But most importantly, the vocals sit right on top of the mix, exactly where they should be.
In other words, TIIT presents a spiffy and almost immaculate production to the world o’ metalheads. And whilst the wall of sound often comes fully loaded, the band didn’t lose any elements in the mix. And that’s yet another positive point for an already pretty neat record.
Now, the album kinda loses its gnarly bite a bit on the second half of the record. And Sun of the Suns for sure didn’t prioritize variation too much. In other words, we got ourselves a slight case of the infamous repetition bug. But in the big theme of things, these are minor issues.
In the end, though, we just found ourselves a band that somehow reached Earth from the mysterious depths of space. TIIT flooded this reviewer with a gritty avalanche of Extreme Metal with just enough melody and well-placed atmospherics to keep this crew on its toes. A pretty cosmic delivery of a mighty record that indeed took us by surprise – and then by storm.
Now, let’s hope there will be more of that in the future from these Italians. We can’t wait to hear the follow-on.