If 36 Crazyfists and early Avenged Sevenfold had a love child, Across The Sun would be the end result. And much like the best records by the former bands, this Portland outfit's debut full-length is destined to become a classic. From the opening track, "Tipping The Scales," the listener is immediately transported by the captivating mix of heartfelt lyrics and heavy melodic guitars.
The follow-up to 2008's Pestilence and Rapture, Before the Night Takes Us is weaved from dexterous sweep arpeggios, powerful vocals, and hints of vulnerability in singer Brandon Davis' words. The perfectly arranged track list gets you to ponder, sympathize with, and sink into his emotions; by the time the album was over—having reached its climax early on with the passionate, aggressive "Decent and Discovery"—this writer was longing for more. In the end, this record from a relatively unknown band proved to be, as the title of track No. 8 goes, a "Blessing In Disguise."
Unfortunately, as high caliber as the album is, its one and only downfall is the production quality. On the title track, for instance, the vocals are way too low, almost blended into the music, Shane Murrays' keys specifically, forcing the listener to adjust the volume and EQ settings (and, in the case of this writer, eventually giving up). Even so, Across The Sun should take a bow for crafting an album that will keep listeners coming back to it and looking forward to its follow-up. SARAH B. KOENIG