The Ever-Living Fire by Slumbering Sun

Release date: February 24, 2023
Label: Self-Released

The name conjures images of a sunset, with that late summer warmth still present. The album artwork of a lady hugging the sun, and the album title The Ever-Living Life merely serves to emphasise this feeling.

This is Slumbering Sun, a new band from Austin, Texas; but made up of ex members of Destroyer of Light, Temptress and Monte Luna. They have been described as a mix of doom and grunge, with vocals that sound like a fusion of Ozzy and Layne Staley. And dammit, for the first song, it really does sound like the lovechild of those singers. However, the subsequent tracks have enough variety in the vocals that it’s not something you fixate on. There is plenty of Ozzy homage going on, and ‘Dreamsnake’ starts off with an almighty “Oh Yeah” that could easily have been lifted off of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.

In the five tracks that are presented here, across 45 minutes that seems to fly by, you get the impression that this is a showcase of their different styles and influences. It’s not that they don’t have their own identity, far from it; but that they can easily traverse sludge, doom, shoegaze, stoner and big rocking riffs, without losing the fact that it is all from the same band.

All the songs are good in their own rights: twelve minute opener ‘Morgenrote’ takes you on the full journey from pleasant intro, into riffs that make you snarl and say “Yeah!”, before slowing things down into a solid groove. More atmosphere is brought in with the quiet section, before opening up again into the heaviness and searing vocals.

The first track that was released, ‘Liminal Bridges’, swings along and builds layers effortlessly. I initially wasn’t keen on the chorus line, but of course within a couple days I was walking around singing along, and now I really enjoy it. ‘Love in a Fallen World’ is a bit shoegaze for the most part, with some lovely shared vocals, before opening up for some big chunky riffing with those high Ozzy notes and a nod to modern day Alice In Chains.

‘Dreamsnake’ starts off on the Sabbath trip, then ventures off onto another atmospheric trip. You can feel yourself floating up towards the heavens by the end. Title track ‘Ever Living Fire’ closes the record, and after a meandering start, followed by a big riff section, slows down into a big head nod, before finishing as beautifully as it began.

I can see these guys being a stand out festival band, getting everyone nodding their heads in appreciation. This release is available through Bandcamp, and they also have a CD and a limited cassette tape for sale from their page.

Worthwhile checking out, and I’m already looking forward to hearing what else they can create.

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