Sonus Corona – Sonus Corona

Sonus Corona - Sonus Corona

Just when I thought all of the fresh talent in prog metal was hiding towards the more extreme side of the spectrum, I am introduced to this band, the Finnish quintet Sonus Corona. Although I was expecting Sonus Corona to fall into the same rut of Dream Theater or Symphony X that so many melodic prog metal bands do, the change of pace here is refreshing, and while not an entirely new breath of fresh air than what I have already heard in the style, Sonus Corona do plant themselves as one of the last vestiges of hope in a style that I personally think got tired over a decade ago.

My personal cynicisms for melodic prog metal aside, Sonus Corona are a truly impressive act, and the fact that I find myself so endeared to them with all things considered should be a testament to their strength as an act. Musically, Sonus Corona’s music is heavy at times, but always melodic, and resists the temptation to become an overly technical wankfest a la Dream Theater. Instead, Sonus Corona bases their self-titled debut around the long lost art of proper songwriting; their music uses sometimes complex musicianship, but it is always based in a tight composition, and this really grabs my attention. The vocals here are often the center of attention atop tasteful instrumentation, the atmosphere is kept somewhat dark and melancholic throughout, and- coming as a surprise to someone that was expecting a metal album- tastefully mellow. Sonus Corona is instead heavy prog rock throughout most of this, although I would have to say that the vocals keep a metallic tinge to the music. Timo Mustonen’s voice is generally a lower register tenor, with a stern tone to his delivery. His real highlights are when he goes and hits higher notes, which he does beautifully; one really wonders why he doesn’t sing up there more, because his high register stuff is much more impressive.

The songwriting here is generally the highlight of the album. Everything is beautifully produced and polished, but the sound stays organic; a sure sign of a successful studio job. The songwriting really caught my attention from the first listen onwards though; while the atmosphere that Sonus Corona makes on Sonus Corona rarely becomes upbeat or cheery, they get the sadness across with a variety of different sounds.

Nexus” is one of the most memorable tracks here, using some lively riffs to create a hook. “Deliverance” makes perfect use of those high(er)-register vocals that Timo Mustonen does so well, and gets fairly heavy, only to be trailed by a nice acoustic passages in “Lucid Dreaming.” The highlight moments on Sonus Corona are brilliant, although it would have been nice to hear even a couple more of them as the album progresses. The album is one of the most consistent records I have heard since the beginning of the year, but it does feel like Sonus Corona keeps their sound a little too restrained; still a vast preference from the overindulgent noodling that the Dream Theater clones adhere themselves to, but Sonus Corona could have used a little more of the great, powerful heaviness that they only seem to hint at here. All the same, it gets me excited to see what else that the band has in store.

Links:

https://soundcloud.com/sonuscoronaofficial

https://www.facebook.com/sonuscoronaofficial

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