It has to be said that Taken By The Sun’s self-titled debut album isn’t one of those releases that immediately grabs you on first listen. It’s a bit of a difficult release to get into, especially since it seems to half-heartedly drift between a few different styles of doom, sludge, hardcore and ambience without doing anything particularly concrete, so subsequently doesn’t seem to follow a specific direction.
Opener Scars begins in a rather dreary and sluggish fashion, and takes a while to get going, and whilst sometimes introductions like this can work at building the atmosphere up before the album gets fully underway, it almost feels like you’re sat there waiting for Taken By The Sun to get a move on, which doesn’t exactly hype things up with the album.
Unfortunately, as the album progresses, it doesn’t really manage to fully leave an impression on you and this could be largely down to the aforementioned genre problem. It’s certainly not a bad thing to experiment with different styles and ideas but when a band flits around said styles, it comes across as if they’re almost lost with what they want to achieve. Red is one of the more energy-fuelled songs with a bit of a hardcore style, but it doesn’t quite pack the punch it’s capable of, and Volatile has more of a melo-doom vibe yet it doesn’t fully manage to engage you.
As a whole, this is an album that doesn’t quite hit the spot – but with a bit of fine-tuning of their sound, Taken By The Sun could well become a force to be reckoned with on their next release.