"Before The Night Takes Us"

By Lord Randall

Psalm 33:3 in the King James Version of the Bible reads “Play skillfully and with a loud noise”. Verbatim. In that verse, David – not a bad harpist himself – makes the point that anything worth doing loud is worth doing with skill. Where many bands made up of most if not all modern musicians fail isn’t in volume, but in skill. Thankfully, ACROSS THE SUN of Portland, Oregon has taken both parts of the verse to heart, resulting in a debut full-length that has even this self-described jaded cynic pleased.

Opener ‘Tipping The Scales’ has received its share of airplay on SiriusXM, and always found me mildly intrigued, yet neither ready to fully commit, nor even check the band out further. With ‘Song For The Hopeless’, ACROSS THE SUN spot-welds their game face on, sonically namedropping FREYA, early SPOKEN, and the handful of other bands in the genre that don’t suck. One area of definite strength within the sound of ATS is the presence of an actual keyboardist who knows what he’s doing, adding texture to ‘Seasons’ and the whole of Before The Night Takes Us without turning the whole thing into some godforsaken wankfest, and maybe therein lies the difference. Where faux-hardcore mallrats such as WINDS OF PLAGUE even fail at their copy/paste brand of deathcore, ATS write songs. The sense of dynamics found in ‘Descent & Discovery’ recall the unheralded STAVESACRE while Brandon Davis’ vocals swing between harmony and death rumble, and the impressive leadwork of Sam Hafer layers ‘A Moment Of Clarity’ while being just as capable of flailing away during the band’s most core-friendly tune, ‘Blessing In Disguise’.

Quite frankly, I came to ACROSS THE SUN expecting an easy target. What I found instead in "Before The Night Takes Us" is an album that - while by no means perfect – is a nearly ideal starting point for a band wishing to make their mark.