Become the Sun

Written by: TAJ on 22/03/2013 14:43:45

The story of Egypt is a rocky road that lines back to 2003 where the North Dakota based trio was founded. A couple of years later a self-titled EP surfaced which received great recognition for its splendid blend of catchy guitar grooves and melodic doom. However the band did split up and hopes for a debut album seemed buried in the sand. But now a whole decade later Egypt have resurrected to finally provide a debut album that must set some kind of record by being ten years in the making.

With the strong album opener “Matterhorn” Egypt proves their slumber has not made the band rusty. On the contrary, what sounds from your speakers are guitar grooves both reminiscent of and on a similar level of potency as ZZ top’s. Followed by heavy bass play and very hoarse vocals it blends into a heavy and powerful mix that manages to provide a very catchy vibe on top. This is indeed the same mix that shaped the success of Egypt’s EP, but this time a bit tighter in production.

Follow-up tracks, and most noticeably; “Orb of the Wizardking” reveal a newer side to the band where the beats per minute drastically drop in favour of a more monotonous hard hitting doom. Topped with the hoarse vocals the effect is a forceful sound wave, and by simultaneously gazing the album art I believe the most fitting way of explaining the atmosphere of this song is to imagine a crushing sand storm rapidly whizzing over the banks of a crisp desert. It's a new approach that works very well and in addition is a welcomed touch for Egypt, ensuring this full length does not grow into a tiresome listen.

Another new area explored around midways on the record leans to a heavy blues approach. Take “Greenland” for example, which is a slow song, not in the doom direction, but with an almost floaty feel due to its psychedelic touches - an almost must-have kind of song on a record for any band playing stoner or psychedelic metal. On this record however it feels a bit forced though. It’s not a bad song by any means, but for it’s style, I must admit there are other bands composing this kind of songs to a greater effect. Fortunately it’s only a few songs that fall into this category.

This aside “Become the Sun” defiantly does its strong EP justice by preserving this ZZ top and melodic doom blend that spellbound and maintained a great fan base even through an early hiatus. Alongside crushing tracks such as “Orb of the Wizardking” and “Elk River Fire”, Egypt appear to be completely in their right element and manage to stand out.

On a final note I feel almost obligated to mention the album art. A thing easily overlooked in these digital times, but for many records I believe one that's part of shaping the personality and experience, as “Become the Sun” thrives on no direct lyrical concept or specific genre for it to achieve a unified feel album-wise which is almost customary for this type of genre. Yet patching together both the atmosphere conjured by the songs, this very fine album art, the song titles and the band name, you get the impression of a fitting theme that heightens the listening experience.

Download: Matterhorn, Orb of the Wizardking, Elk River Fire, Snakecharmer.
For the fans of: Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, ZZ Top, Sleep, Pentagram.
Listen: Facebook

Release date 01.01.2013
Totem Cat Records

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