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Sunburst - Manifesto review



Reviewer:
N/A

41 users:
7.44
Band: Sunburst
Album: Manifesto
Style: Power metal, Progressive metal
Release date: June 2024


01. The Flood
02. Hollow Lies
03. Samaritan
04. Perpetual Descent
05. Inimicus Intus
06. From The Cradle To The Grave
07. Manifesto
08. Nocturne

Is Kamelot not prog enough for your tastes? Try Sunburst!

Sure, you also have the Conception and Seventh Wonder alternatives, depending on which of Kamelot's vocalists you prefer (and yes, I am aware I am engaging in Mark Vanderbilt erasure, Dominion doesn't get enough attention). But perhaps you'd like something with just a slightly different nuance. It is a bit reductive to only tie Sunburst to the fact that their vocalists sounds a lot like Roy Khan, as much as it is a very instant and obvious impression. Hailing from Greece, a country that does have quite a penchant for prog and power and everything in between, Sunburst have been on my radar since their debut in 2016, Fragments Of Creation, impressed one of our own so much. Given that power metal is not necessarily a genre I keep in touch with very often, it's needless to say that a follow-up to one of the up-and-coming albums I discovered during years I still consider formative for me was one that was very anticipated.

One consequence of me not paying power metal enough mind might be that some of the name drops I use in this review could be dangerously close to asspulls. Does Sunburst sound like Voyager? Pagan's Mind? Evergrey? Yes, more or less, even if there are way better comparisons out there. But even with my disconnect, I know I'd be very silly not to mention Symphony X and Nevermore. While everyone and their mother can make the very obvious connection between Roy Khan and Vasilis Georgiou's vocal tones, the instrumental palette does feel closest to being a combination of these two aforementioned bands, with the slight bombast of the former and the occasional gruffness of the latter.

Think less flowery cascades of sweeping notes, a touch of synths once again courtesy of ex-Firewind's Bob Katsionis to act as just enough of a somewhat understated support to the melodies, and riffing that's simultaneously groovy, intricate, and with just enough muscle (by power metal standards), and you have the kind of power metal that is more grounded. It's not simple, even with all its restraint, with the instrumental side not trying to outshine Georgiou's passionate performance but doing much more than just supporting it. My only gripe with the production is the lack of bass presence, but outside of that, it's perfectly balanced to give the guitars, drums, vocals, and keys the presence and impact they need and to create a warm and lush sound.

It's hard not to draw comparisons to or to constantly have Kamelot in mind when listening to Manifesto. It's the kind of gripe I have with a lot of bands that get too close to another band's lane. Somehow I don't mind it as much here. On one hand it's because the songwriting is in similar levels of quality that they don't get outcompeted while in the same lane, and on the other hand the riffing is muscular enough that it creates a sense of distinction that's not at odds with the band's sound. Plus it's not like Georgiou is gonna get a different vocal tone, might as well ride the Roy Khan soundalike wave for as long as Sunburst have the chops to pull it off.






Written on 19.06.2024 by Doesn't matter that much to me if you agree with me, as long as you checked the album out.


Comments

Comments: 9   Visited by: 115 users
19.06.2024 - 20:29
Rating: 8
AndyMetalFreak
A Nice Guy
Contributor
I'm actually pleasantly surprised by this album, I've not listened to the debut yet but going into this I expected another bog-standard Kamelot inspired power metal band, but these actually sound pretty good. This is definitely one of the best power metal releases I've heard so this year anyway.
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19.06.2024 - 21:11
Rating: 7
musclassia
Staff
I listened to this earlier today, and tbh the more it went on it felt less like progressive power and more like power-leaning prog; the vocals naturally take one's mind to Roy Khan, but unlike his other band Black Fate (who definitely fit the bill of Kamelot-esque prog-power), the instrumentals reminded me more of Seventh Wonder, and to a lesser extent the bands you highlighted in Symphony X and Nevermore. I wouldn't have actually minded a bit more flat-out power metal epic majesty, but I do like what they've cooked up here
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20.06.2024 - 18:35
Rating: 7
Duck Dodgers
Never heard of them before, decided to listen to the album after reading the review. Seemed interesting. First track starts...music very good and pleasant...building up...and then the vocals came in. The end (for me).
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20.06.2024 - 19:11
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Staff
Written by Duck Dodgers on 20.06.2024 at 18:35

Never heard of them before, decided to listen to the album after reading the review. Seemed interesting. First track starts...music very good and pleasant...building up...and then the vocals came in. The end (for me).

Of course there had to be one guy on planet Earth who somehow disliked the vocals.
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
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21.06.2024 - 09:15
Rating: 7
Duck Dodgers
Written by RaduP on 20.06.2024 at 19:11

Written by Duck Dodgers on 20.06.2024 at 18:35

Never heard of them before, decided to listen to the album after reading the review. Seemed interesting. First track starts...music very good and pleasant...building up...and then the vocals came in. The end (for me).

Of course there had to be one guy on planet Earth who somehow disliked the vocals.

Ok, listened to the whole album just to give it a fair chance.
Again, the music is great, progressive (in a sense of what progressive was 20+ years ago).
But the voice is oversold in this review. When you drop names like Evergrey and Nevermore you set the bar high by default.
I got stronger James Labrie vibes than Warrel Dane and there is not enough emotion to place them anywhere near Evergrey.
Just my thoughts.
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22.06.2024 - 03:01
Dream Taster
The Enemy Within
Staff
Fair review! It is another very good album from them. I had lost hope that they would ever release new material after being so impressed by their debut.
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01.07.2024 - 18:01
DarkWingedSoul
Was aware of the debut, and not really surprised by the follow up = in a good sense. and also pleasently surprised that Radu reviewed a power metal album. thanks.
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01.07.2024 - 18:47
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Staff
Written by DarkWingedSoul on 01.07.2024 at 18:01

And also pleasently surprised that Radu reviewed a power metal album. thanks.

I do my dues occasionally
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
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05.07.2024 - 18:33
Rating: 8
KK Nytshade
To put it more succinctly: Kamelot meets Dream Theater. If you love either of those bands, you’ll appreciate Manifesto.
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