The debut album of this Swiss one-man-band is out, almost 3 years after the foundation of the group. Sunuthar (Sunday in runic) began as a side project of Fenjorn, who was member of the band Excelsis at that time (he left the band last year), in order to express some ideas that didn’t fit in Excelsis concept. Fenjorn (also known as Simon “Simu” Müller) who has participated in other projects too, like Folkearth, Folkodia and Fferyllt, decided to release his first album on his own, without any label behind him.
Sunuthar fall into the general category of folk epic metal and is one of the countless bands influenced by the legacy of Bathory. Of course there are also influences from Excelsis, but Fenjorn has added a more aggressive and blackened approach in his music. He plays everything on this album, using a wide variety of instruments, both metal and acoustic, as well as synths. His compositions move between many styles, from epic metal to folk metal, acoustic music or folk black, but I think he isn’t equally good in all of them and the final result sounds somehow unbalanced. What definitely needs more work is the clean vocals, that many times sound out of tune. In my opinion the band is much more interesting in the extreme parts, when they play raw folk black metal, since they have a more solid sound with decent screaming vocals. The production sounds like from a decade ago, but it fits perfectly with the black metal parts and flutes, reminding me of the time when this genre began… The lyrics are both in their native language and in English, based on fantasy and local myths and I have to admit that they have succeeded to reflect this atmosphere in their music. There are also some ballads and instrumental soundtrack-like songs in their album that lasts for 61 minutes. Maybe the album should be shorter, with a better “filtering” in some indifferent moments. Except for the folk black metal parts that I liked, I would also like to comment the really beautiful acoustic guitars and flutes that have a great natural sound, unlike other instruments in the album.
Undoubtedtly there are some good ideas in “Us Auter Zyt”, but still a lot of work must be done, if the band wants something bigger. Since it’s the first album and it’s self-released, I see it (and rate it) more as a demo. I believe that with a more professional production and decent clean vocals, things can be much different for Sunuthar. Maybe next time… Anyway, you can check the music and find info on getting the album on their myspace page.
Sunuthar @ Myspace
Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos