When you approach to listen to the album of a little known band I think that everyone, instinctively, try to collect some news about the musicians who are part of it and its past discography: this, inevitably, is likely to create a prejudice (in the literal sense of prior judgment) for better or worse, when the names involved in the work are well known. I must confess that, when To The Elements started in my player, full of mp3 albums to listen to and then try to describe the content in the best way, I only remembered that Sun Of The Sleepless had arrived via Prophecy Productions but, helped by this last clue, it took me very little to understand that the musician involved in this project was Markus Stock, aka Ulf Theodor Schwadorf: for those who have loved since the first hour of Empyrium and appreciated not a little the work of our also with The Vision Bleak, it is not difficult to recognize the imprint of one of the most peculiar authors among those dedicated to the darker side of metal. And here’s the prejudice: from that moment on, you expect to listen to something special, able to force you to a higher than average attention to catch the best of every nuance, something that, for goodness sake, you always try to do but with fluctuating results, often finding yourself in front of good works at executive and compositional level but not always stimulating. But someone like Markus Stock can not disappoint, because too much is the talent that mother nature has granted him, giving us with this solo project born at the end of last century his personal interpretation of a black metal that, if usually in Germanic land is interpreted in a very different and more sophisticated than the rest of the world, in this case touches peaks difficult to overcome; obviously, the Bavarian musician does not forget to be the father of Empyrium and some episodes more rarefied or acoustic are to prove it (The Burden, whose text is taken from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and Forest Crown), but in the remaining five songs makes melt the face painting to a multitude of kids of good will, exhibiting something that borders on the state of the art of the genre, at least as regards its most atmospheric and evocative aspect. Just a few seconds of Motions are enough to immerse oneself in the austere atmosphere that Sun Of The Sleepless will give along the score created for To The Elements: this song is one of the most beautiful heard in the genre in recent years, and the foot beats to the paroxysmal rhythms of the blast beats while the spirit is carried away by a melodic crescendo that you would like to interminable. Echoes of Empyrium and The Vision Black follow each other and merge into a new and even darker look, passing through the superb The Owl dedicated to the wonderful nocturnal bird of prey, to get to the final Phoenix Rise, which is cloaked in a more melancholic melody and then close with a quote from Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. From a musician of this thickness we could not expect anything less, but every time an album of this level of quality appears, that magical moment is renewed: the pleasure of discovery and the desire to listen to these notes as soon as you have the opportunity. There is really a lot of great music out there, much of which the people of the fans are destined to ignore due to the physical impossibility of listening to it all: one of our tasks is also to bring out what really can not and should not be ignored, as precisely this first full length of Sun Of The Sleepless of the talented Markus Stock.

2017 – Lupus Lounge