May 25, 2021
I have already got to know a few bands from Ukraine, some of which I have even seen live. Here comes the next one. Sunrise, like many others, come from the capital Kiev. The band was founded in 2003 and the only member from the early years is singer Laars Naumenko, who also sat at the shooting gallery for the first two years. Three studio albums have been released since then, most recently “Absolute Clarity” (2016). A few singles followed in the time since. Now the time has come for “Equilibria”. The album was financed with the help of a crowdfunding campaign. And friends from Poland participated in the song writing. Shortly before the planned release, the date was pushed back by a week. Obviously, overmastering forces had their fingers in the pie.
Already with the opener “Wings Of The Dreamer” you can hear why the band is especially popular by fans of Sonata Arctica and Stratovarius. They are clearly following in the oversized footsteps of the two Finnish bands. Singer Konstantin Naumenko actually sounds like a mixture of Timo Kotipelto and Tony Kakko. In terms of sound, the proximity to the aforementioned idols can also be emphasised. But without copying them. This continues with the almost-title song “Equilibrium”. But you can hear the differences to the Finns right away. Keyboarder and wife Daria Naumenko sings here on equal terms. But don’t worry, we are not dealing with a remake of “Beauty and the Beast”. Both singers have a clear and powerful voice. As before, hectic synths often determine the melody on “We Are The Fire”. This adds a touch of Italian Power Respective Melodic Metal to the overall sound. Daria masters her instrument perfectly. The song has a high tempo, driven by drummer Alexandr Ignatenko. But also, the guitarist can score again and again with his solos. Not to forget the deep tones by Vladyslav Sedov, which come into their own with the help of a good subwoofer. The catchy “Wild Swans” has a lot of hit potential. Just like the somewhat quieter hymnal “Call My Name”. On the speed grenade “Life Is A Journey” you can hear ex-Signum Regis singer Marián “Mayo” Petranin (Symphonity, Castaway, among others). The singing couple puts their stamp on the hymn “The Only Reason”. The two harmonise very well with each other. In the press text you could read that the band experimented with the sounds and included a typical Ukrainian instrument, the bandura, among others. I think you can hear it here. The following songs repeat a lot of what we have heard so far. Although there is always some variation, the listener is not offered much that is new. But that doesn’t diminish the quality of the individual songs. The airplay-suitable “Nightingale” stands out a little.
With their fourth studio album, Sunrise are quite convincing. Even if it drags on a bit towards the end. I find it very positive that the former background singer Daria Naumenko is more involved and almost acts as an equal alongside the regular singer. This clearly sets the band apart from the protagonists. Fans of Sonata Arctica, Stratovarius should definitely give it a listen.
SUNRISE – The Bridge Across Infinity (Single, 2020): https://youtu.be/tacRvCExleE
Konstantin “Laars” Naumenko – Vocals
Alexandr Ignatenko – Drums
Daria Naumenko – Vocals, Keyboards
Vladyslav Sedov – Bass
- Wings Of The Dreamer
- We Are The Fire
- Wild Swans
- Call My Name
- Unbroken Dreams
- Life Is A Journey (feat. Mayo Petranin)
- The Only Reason
- The Bridge Across Infinity
- The Shadow
- The Bell
- Rebel Yell