Prisoners Of The Sun

Written by: MST on 13/02/2014 23:32:04

Ajuna is another band in the recent wave of black metal bands in the sprouting Danish scene. There are hints of post metal and that special Deafheaven sauce here and there, but Ajuna don't really sound all that much like other bands in the movement, or really any particular band at all. "Prisoners Of The Sun" is the group's debut full length album, and before its release in 2013 the band had released a single EP in 2012.

On "Prisoners Of The Sun", Ajuna explore feelings of melancholy, loss and medicine-induced madness in seven everchanging tracks. The tempo of the drums and the atmosphere created by the guitars make unexpected turns on every track, rendering the album almost completely unpredictable at first. The riffs almost seem optimistic and happy at times, especially in the excellent album opener "Tribute". Vocalist Anders Hufsa's lyrics fit the music well, but like is the case with most bands in the genre it's often difficult to decipher the exact words, which is a shame because at times really enhance the music if read. This is definitely the case with "Kaos", an overall slower track with lyrics in Danish about losing a loved one to suicide.

For this writer, the highlight of the album is "Suntomb". The first half of the song is like a recap of all the best parts of the rest of the album: menacing riffs, varying drum tempos and vocals changing from psychotic screams to deep growls as the atmosphere of the music demands. The second half is a slower, more atmospheric instrumental section that fits the flow of the album really well. The album in itself flow really well actually; everything seems to fit in. The production is extremely clear as is to be expected for an album produced, mixed and mastered by Jacob Bredahl, and the type of black metal that Ajuna plays actually benefits from a clear, modern production.

I can't help feeling like something is missing though. I really like the album, but I wish there were more factors than the tempo changes of the drums that surprised me. Clocking in at a mere 35 minutes in length, "Prisoners Of The Sun" is almost finished before it even begins. As a group, Ajuna possess plenty of talent and ambition as is evident on certain songs on this debut album. Moving forward, I would really love to see the band take more chances with their sound and, especially, write a longer album that's at least as consistent as this one.

Download: Tribute, Suntomb, Kaos
For The Fans Of: Redwood Hill, Deafheaven, (newer) Altar of Plagues
Listen: Facebook

Release date 27.09.2013
Quality Steel Records

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