Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Minotauro Records

"Heliodromus" is the third full-length release from Portland, Maine's Sunrunner. Their first release on Minotauro Records, "Heliodromus" is a grand adventure that explores themes related to the Mithraic Mysteries and even if it is not technically a concept album this intelligent recording is (arguably) the band's most epic release to date! It's also the heaviest Sunrunner has ever been since they first came together back in 2008. Originally starting off as more of a progressive rock band than anything else (with small amounts of heavy metal tossed in for good measure!), Sunrunner has obviously evolved over the course of three albums, but "Heliodromus" takes things to a whole different level! After a short introduction the five minute plus "Keepers of the Rite" starts things off with a highly explosive and utterly wicked bang (!) and before long this talent-laden lot throws caution to the wind as they add power metal, classic metal/N.W.O.B.H.M. and even doom (!!) to a well-expanded progressive rock sound that already included unique instrumentation, odd arrangements and exotic (musical) elements. Speaking of which, "Heliodromus" is one of those fun recordings where just when you think you have this band tagged they come from out of nowhere to (pleasantly) surprise you with something completely different! Sure enough the promo material for this is absolutely correct when it talks about Sunrunner being a "epic progressive heavy metal, influenced by Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, and German power metal". That part of Sunrunner is a beast and then some! Throw in a reference point or two to post-"Black Album" Metallica and possibly even Helloween and you're looking at this band's heavier edge. It's all golden, but then again so is this band's folk metal side! Yes, you heard that right. This band has a folk metal side (try on "The Plummet" or size) and what's more I love it! That in and of itself might not sound all that unusual, but for the fact that I usual can take or leave folk metal (and it's mostly leave!) and I enjoyed the hell out of this part of Sunrunner! Such folk metal works extremely well when paired up next to heavy moments like "Technology's Luster" and (collectively) it all builds up rather expertly to the album's closing number (and certainly this album's most-ambitious moment), "Heliodromus". With a run-time that clocks in at 21:13 (!), "Heliodromus" is as insane a cut as it is epic and it ends a neat journey that started by way of the 28 second "Dies Natalis Soli Invicti". With it's solid production and influx of creative arrangements, "Heliodromus" is easily recommended to fans and newcomers alike. You can check out the trailer to this intriguing album below and for more information on this Portland collective be sure to check out the band's Facebook page here.

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