Living Flowers Gallery
(Metal Breath Production) Enslain Magazine Volume 2, Issue 1 This soft doom release is the debut of Czech band The Rays of the Sun. It falls into a category with older Anathema and Katatonia, but distinctly different. Although doomy in nature, it's not so depressive that it demands that you cut your wrist. It's a little more energetic and less bass-driven, while still being slow and mildly down-trodden. The sustain on the guitars helps create a subtle atmosphere and a fullness of sound. The gentle and powerful ways that the guitars mix together are the strongest element of this album.
"Living Flowers Gallery" is not quite suited for mass-marketability. The production is the biggest setback; not only do the guitars get a little noisy at times, but the timing is not always tight, and the vocals fall out of tune often. Other than failing to stay in key, I don't think Michal's singing is suitable for the music. It's not very powerful and it tries to have more range than it's meant to have. I prefer the few songs that backing vocalist Daniela sings on, although there's a little too much reverb on her voice. Coincidentally, after the release of this record, Michal (who is also one of the guitarists) has left the project leaving Daniela in charge of the vocal duties.
There are a couple of really enjoyable songs on this album, including the title track and "Follow Copy". The Rays of the Sun are good songwriters, and it will be interesting to see what their personnel change will do to the sound of their upcoming work. Most importantly, however, a tighter production would undeniably help them on their next effort.