Artist: Godless Suns
Release Title: Godless Suns
Release Date: 25 November 2022
Location: London, United Kingdom
Length: 37min 20s
Coming from London, Godless Suns have been born from the ashes of the groovy southeast London band Zocalo. Godless Suns have made a name for themselves in recent years, featuring at the British metal festival Bloodstock Open Air twice (in 2018 and 2021). They have also performed alongside big stoner/doom names such as Ten Ton Slug, Boss Keloid and Famyne. I hear that Godless Suns have their influences from bands like Kyuss, Orange Goblin, and Boss Keloid.
I’m told that the album is all about theological dissolution, acknowledgment by humanity of our self-reliance and personal magic. That concept in mind lends itself to the album being listened to all at once, which is clearly the intention here – something fans of stoner rock and doom will are no strangers to. Godless Suns have however been careful to avoid assuming listeners will approach their album this way, composing each song with its own beginning and end musically and lyrically. But they do still link together, of course, so one can still do a close listening of the whole album and enjoy in that format. That was a smart choice owing to the diverse habits of Cave Dwellers because it makes Godless Suns just a little more accessible without sacrificing integrity or rock. So if you’re new to this sort of music, don’t feel intimidated – just jump on in and listen as you please. Plus, with just six tracks across 37 minutes, it’s a nice tight album.
Practically this means there’s often little spoken storytelling moments. For example, at the end of Purgation we hear that, “emerging from their hell, humankind rebuilds their towns of wisdom. The gods, angered, scream of divine judgment..” (this is just a snippet, of course). I love this because they add a nice little flair of imagination to the track without slowing things down or taking away from the soundscape. The usage of moments like this remind me of Masayoshi Takanaka’s underrated prog/psychedelic rock album The Rainbow Goblins which featured similar intro & outro moments extensively.
Musically I think you’ll find this to be an enjoyable listen. Having female vocals from vocalist Sarah Humphries is a welcome dimension of Godless Suns in this writer’s opinion, particularly in a genre where we don’t often hear that. Sarah adds a sort of underground jazz vibe to tracks like Godless, skilfully navigating the slower, lengthier guitarwork that is part and parcel of stoner-doom rock. I can envision the band playing in a smoky, below-street-level venue to a crowd of chilled out London stoners enjoying the almost psychedelic jam of a solo that brings Godless to an end.
Godless Suns as an album has the sort of guitarwork that, during the breakdowns like in Death Of The Wise, I just want to jump out of my chair wherever I am and fucking air guitar. The drumming is pretty good, too – sometimes a band will release a song that has drumming that’s just creative and well timed enough for me to sit there and focus purely on the drumwork. I find myself doing that in Death Of The Wise at times, and occasionally elsewhere in the album. That’s a great sign, and with a drink or two that feeling is all the more enhanced. The band did all the recording, mixing and mastering on their own as well, so their live skills are beyond doubt. Godless Suns are sure to be great live, so go see them if you get the chance – there’s a reason they were at Bloodstock. Or simply put the album on and vibe – it’s worth your time.
I hope you enjoy Godless Suns.