"Burn the Sun" (Favored Nations; 2002)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Ark are that unique band that transcends sub-metal genres to create a sound all their own. Yeah, they're progressive metal but they do hint at more commercially accessible melodies. Yeah, the bass and drums at times throb with the heavy double-bass beat but the listener will never feel as though the music's getting away from him. Yeah, the vocalist has an epic tone to his voice, a voice that soars with aural wings, but he's not happy with just being considered an "artist." He obviously wants to be known as a rock musician as well.

Ark has all the technical flavor of a progressive metal band and yet smoothes things a bit (just a bit) so that the music is still heavy and challenging yet not so technical as to turn off unsophisticated listeners. 

You'll find everything on this CD. Deep throated vocals a la Ronnie James Dio. Guitars that run the gamut from flamenco to speed metal. Rhythms that run from slow, galloping ballads to full trot anthems. 

Interestingly, the lyrics here are about emotion for the most part, and the musical hybrid fits those as well. The songwriting is brilliant, combining all elements of metal into a series of complex tracks.

Ark is for fans of Dream Theater and bands of that ilk. But it's for fans of Black Sabbath as well. That's what makes it such a unique record. Its unique sound should appeal to everyone.

Ark: Jorn Lande - vocals; Tore Ostby - guitars; John Macaluso - drums; Randy Coven - bass; Mats Olaussson - keyboards. 

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2002 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 26 Sep 2022 13:20:29 -0400 .