Review: Sombre Holiday - The Failed Sun

Band: Sombre Holiday

Album: The Failed Sun

Record Label: Independent

Release Date: November 3th, 2020

Album Length: 70 minutes

Genres: Progressive Doom Metal

Track List:

  1. The Second Son 04:08
  2. Man of the Earth 04:29
  3. Masterpiece 07:57
  4. New Darkness 06:20
  5. The Picture of You
  6. The Burning Sky 06:19
  7. This Present Absence 07:13
  8. The Failed Sun 05:42
  9. The Death of Death 06:45
  10. A Passing Shadow 05:29
  11. Man of the Sky 05:29
  12. The Last of All Things 04:33

Sombre Holiday is a Christian Progressive Metal band, which influences lean more to Classic Heavy Metal and Doom Metal with great acoustic and symphonic instrumentation to enrich their sound.

This band performs an interesting sound that creates an atmosphere full of emotion that propitiates reflection, introspection, and deepens every aspect of musicality and sound. Resulting in an aggressive yet calm feeling of musical adventure that guides you to different song structures and new perspectives in every track. The style of this band is similar to great bands like Virgin BlackVeni Domine, and Saviour Machine, and brought back to my mind a band I had forgotten, but was important for me, Place of Skulls.

It is interesting how every song displays a diverse emotion, showing the great capacity of composition these musicians have. Every song is a journey through an unexplored environment, full of surprises, going from Classic Heavy Metal riffs, emphasizing progression, and adding slow beats that reflect strong Doom Metal influences. It is severely emotive and beautiful thanks to the symphonic elements added, violins, and great keyboards, alongside with an acoustic guitar enrich the sound to a point it feels majestic and musically satisfying. I just find this music perfect to worship the Lord and I would definitely play it while reading the Bible, to make an ambient of reflection and focus on the Word.

At the beginning of this album, I was getting comfortable with the vocals, maybe the first two songs; The Second Son and Man of Earth were the only songs of this record I found hard to take. Because I am not used to this kind of vocals, proper from Classic Heavy Metal, but it started to get increasingly better, I actually understood what vocals were about, and started like them more. I have to highlight the amazing drum and bass work in this song, the use of distortion is amazing and the guitar solo and buzzy riffs totally caught my attention, preparing me for the next track. Masterpiece started with a beautiful atmosphere, somewhat sad, but very contemplative. The keyboards of this song made it one of the best songs of the entire album, and when the guitar riff starts to hit along with greatly placed cymbals, it just reminded me of the old good days of proto-doom. They achieved a lot of heaviness in this song, and did not lose the soulfulness and moving ambient it started with. At this point, I already loved the album. New Darkness and The Picture of You certainly continued the atmosphere. Some graciously positioned sea sounds gave this song more depth. Also, the melody of these songs is undeniably beautiful. The Burning Sky is more focused on a Doom Metal sound, guitars were huge during the whole track, and vocals were perfectly executed, this song actually got really aggressive and heavy, probably my favorite track in the whole album.

This Present Absence bases its delightfulness in the great use of acoustic guitars that gives it a perfect entrance to a more Gothic Metal feeling than the previous songs. The symphonic is just beautiful. The Failed Sun, the title track, and The Death of Death followed the intention of This Present Absence, but got a more Progressive Metal sound, showing a different side of this sound, which is genuinely good. Call me crazy but, I felt many Post-Metal influences at The Death of Death, just gave me that sensation, and I loved it. A Passing Shadow worked as a Metal Ballad, heavily Gothic, and soulful. I have to say I loved the harmonies between the leading and back vocals and the use of distortion at guitars. That solo is magnificent.

Man of The Sky starts with a more Classic Heavy Metal riff, and faster drums than the rest of the albums, which gave the whole album more dimensions and contributed to making this album the varied masterpiece it is. The bass in this song is so nice to listen to. The Last of All Things is the perfect track to end the album, giving it the closure it deserved, from musical and lyrical aspects. It does contrast with the first song and at the same time with the whole record.

I also would like to highlight the use of spoken biblical passages that are spread through the album, giving support and more significance to its lyrics, and actually fits the sound of the band, incorporating pretty well to the atmosphere they created

Lyrics are well written, interconnecting many songs between them, cohesively relating songs and topics from the whole album. Moreover, they have a really beautiful and important message. Human being existence has a purpose, we all live for a reason, not an earthly reason. We are here to reflect the Light and Love of God. It emphasizes obedience and successfully explains salvation and Jesus’s sacrifice that gave us all the chance to be ­_Men of the Sky._ We must live for Him, for Him died for us.

The cover art is also amazingly beautiful and detailed, moving and it just makes you want to have a wall flag of it at home.

Even though this album was a bit out of my comfort sound, it sincerely opened my ears to different styles and forms of worship. This a beautiful, emotive, comforting, and charming Progressive masterpiece, a sound of light full with lyrics of light, and lots of thoughtful musicality, and lots of love to make such varied musical textures, that are deeply soulful. The amount of effort and talent behind this album is unbelievable and deserves recognition, simply admirable.

Favorite Tracks: Masterpiece, The Death of Death, This Present Absence, and The Burning Sky.

Rating: 8.5/10