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Sunrise - Liberty 4/5

Reviewed: 8-22-08


1. Born to find
2. Gone with the time
3. Illusion of life
4. Lie and truth
5. Hear me
6. Stay with me
7. Look to eternity
8. Inside of the rising sun
9. Can you feel the pain?
10. Travel
11. Illusion of life (bonus track)

I'm telling you folks, some of the best power metal is coming out of Russia and the neighboring Ukraine right now. While Sweden, Finland, Italy and Germany were providing the best power metal bands early in the decade, many of them are changing direction and style, and it's the Russian and Ukrainian bands that are now playing that popular power metal style that all of us were going nuts over earlier in the decade. One new band is Sunrise from Ukraine, and with their debut 'Liberty', this young band already has the talent and songwriting skills to make a name for themselves in the power metal world.

Unlike many of their coutrymen, Sunrise has chosen to use English lyrics, so this is not a Russian-language CD, and although I'm very fond of Russian-language bands (as you all know), vocalist Konstantin Naumenko has such a wonderful and clear voice that I'd be happy with whatever language he sung in. I must admit that it's been really nice to understand what he's saying, but musically, you can still hear some similarities to Russian-language bands like Epidemia, Charizma, Arda, Callisto, Decuman Wave, Retriem and so on. However, because this is an English-language CD, the overall best band comparisons would be the popular and large group that contains Thunderstone, Sonata Arctica, Destination's Calling, Dreamtale, Nightscape, Stratovarius, Arida Vortex, Twilightning (early), Cardiant, Supreme Majesty, Celesty and Moonville.

So by now I've surely got your attention, but let me tell you that what makes this CD so great (besides Konstantin's vocals) is definitely the guitar work. Featuring 2 guitarists, Vitaliy Petrychenko and Vladimir Ovcharov, Sunrise offers up plenty of sweet lead guitar work and some of the best guitar solos I've heard in the last few years. These guys are young, but they're certainly competitive with other guitarists from any power metal band out there. Plus, although I've always liked keyboards with metal, there aren't too many keys, as Eduard Fefer keeps them in the background for the most part, leaving the guitarists to truly shine.

Another impressive side of Sunrise is that they've already proven they can provide a nice song variety, as 'Liberty' contains a few slow songs (track 5 "Hear me" and track 10 "Travel"), some mid-paced/bouncy songs (the opener "Born to find", the spectacular track 3 "Illusion of life" and the memorable track 9 "Can you feel the pain?"), and there are faster songs of course, and these would be track 2 "Gone with the time", track 4 "Lie and truth", track 6 "Stay with me" and track 8 "Inside of the rising sun". We even get an instrumental (track 7 "Look to eternity"), and it's fantastic. The bonus track "Illusion of life" is the Russian-language version (which I've translated) of track 3, and this proves that the band will succeed with either language.

So I've spit out lots of praise so far, but one thing that's really great is that those who haven't gotten into the Russian-language bands (yet!) can pick this up based on the numerous band comparisons (the popular and large group) and the fact that it's an English-language CD. You'll then soon find out just how excellent some of the musicians are from Russia/Ukraine and the bonus track will give you a taste of the Russian language, and hopefully you'll then take my advice and get into Russian-language power metal. As a major lover of power metal, I'm here to say that it's a real treat to listen to a few Russian-language CDs on a regular basis to bring in some variety.




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