Sunless Rise Japan Tour 2017 – Part I: Live Review
Part.I - Personal Live Review
The sun was shining and the sky was blue… The day that the talented Russian guys entered the live venue UNIT for the very first show in Tokyo was blessed by the weather.
Since I’m a huge fan of Sunless Rise for a long time and have been working hard for them to spread the word about their music and its existence towards the world, I was deeply moved by the fact: “Finally the time has come!”.
Unfortunately, I have been super busy with my regular job these months and couldn’t been to Osaka for their very first show in Japan. So, the second show on the tour but the first show in Tokyo became my first experience for them live. After the rehearsal, John(Ivan) came for me to the entrance of UNIT and gave me a backstage pass, and then I met up with the whole SLR guys at the hall in the venue finally. I was totally overwhelmed by my situation, was literally shaking. Anyway, I gave them some gifts, took some photos and talked about our first meet-up.
Well, the latest gig that I saw at the venue was Whitechapel. So the size of the stage should’ve been enough for Sunless Rise as well. I placed myself around the right side towards the stage, and when the lights of the hall went out, the screen behind the stage started projecting the sharp and beautiful “Sunless Rise” logo vividly. All of SLR guys were ready to rock on stage already and we started screaming for them. When I found out the opener of the show in the evening was “Eidolon” from the intro, John shouted out for making us crazy. As we all know every single SLR song in their releases is perfect, but “Eidolon” was absolutely appropriate for opener of the show cos it has the dramatic intro and gave us time to make enough noise before setting into the first verse. Wow, what a band! They were doing so awesome on stage not only with precisive play but also with passionate performance! I’m completely in love with their music for a long time, every single part of their releases is my favorite and this time I found out they also are great live-act as well. So, all of them: Sergey, John, Alex(B), Alex(M) and Boris were doing awesome on stage to blow us away. The graphical projection behind the stage was perfectly syncing with their futuristic modern metal and was displaying the lyrics effectively at the beautiful chorus part.
“Konbanwa Japan!” John greeted to the audience with the Japanese word and we replied him with passionate yelling, and then he introduced the second song “Reborn”. Since the song doesn’t have any growl part, it was a surprise when they revealed the song as the first music video from “Unrevealed” but it means they have enough confidence for what they do with their whole music and that’s absolutely fantastic, huh? So, with the snowy music video on their background, they played through the beautiful song sacramentally on stage. The title John mentioned as the third song of the set made me scream louder. “Recovering The Truth” is my super fave among their new songs in “Unrevealed”. Feeling Alex’s killer drum sound not only with my ears but also with the huge vibration to my body was really exciting! I also love the philosophical lyrics with four temples (Serenity, Mercy, Discord and the forth one should be Catharsis in my opinion). Their passionate performance made me feel stronger love for their music than before!
“The Forgiven” had a place as their fourth song on the set. The projector showed us the dramatic music video behind them while they were playing the song perfectly. Alex and Sergey were showing us their fantastic clean vocals through the chorus part. As you know, the song is built on kinda miracle merger between beauty and insanity, and their magical play was only stunning at the show.
The next song: “The Burnt And The Frozen” which is the most brutal tune from “Unrevealed” led an epic circle pit, was just overwhelming! It seemed they were just like masters using carrot and stick to make us fanatic for their musical universe. John was extremely beast at the song and Boris were doing wild as well. Alex’s drumming were very sharp and loud! There was nothing starved for a true metal show, huh?
As they promised to Japanese fans before leaving their country towards Japan, their brand-new song: “Flywheel” was revealed on the tour. It has really brutal death metal verses and absolutely catchy chorus part with clean vocals, is just a typical Sunless Rise style but sounding more modern than their old familiar songs. I really loved it and can’t wait its official release day. The lyrics which had been displayed on the screen helped us to sing the unfamiliar song with them anyway.
Fun times go by so quickly. The final song of the night was their long time flagship song, “Nothing To Save”! Alex was concentrating his absolutely godlike guitar play and Sergey’s fingers were sliding on his keyboard smoothly and beautifully like a gold medal figure skater.
Being one of witnesses for the genius solo battle between the guitar and the keyboard in real was an absolutely ecstatic moment. That was spectacular!
I was thankful for my situation: there was one more time to experience them live next day! Lucky me!
Live in Tokyo - Day 2 was killer again.
However my review became long already, so I’m gonna focus to write some different points from yesterday. First, there was no projection behind the stage at the show. Actually Shibuya Cyclone that located at the bustling area in Shibuya is a smaller venue than UNIT, but I felt there were kinda special energies between the band and the audience at that evening, so the show became mind-blowing one! They played an additional song between “The Forgiven” and “The Burnt And The Frozen” and it was “Awakening”, hell yes! I couldn’t stop my super stoked feeling and goose-bumps in my whole body with the live-played sick tune! It reminded me the moment that I listened to their music for the first time. It was somewhere in 2010, their music blew me away at once, I hardly could sit still and wanted to get in touch with them ASAP but they were not active on Facebook at that time, so I wrote them via MySpace(!!!) later and they gave me mp3 of their promo EP 2009 as free. I was really into their huge-fountain-like music and was eager for more new songs from them. After a couple of years passed by, suddenly they broke the long-time silence, went active on Facebook and mentioned about their comeback to the scene. It made me crazy again and I offered my first interview with them ASAP. That was the trigger to get into their support obviously. From that point, I’ve been working on spreading the word about the band via interviews, giveaway action and distribution for “Unrevealed”. So I was deeply moved by the fact that I became a part of the audience at two shows in Tokyo and was absolutely proud of those talented Russian musicians who were perfectly playing their set from the metal masterpiece on stage in full-force in front of us. To return to the point, “Awakening” was definitely gold at the show. I was just hooked on the sound explosion, was letting myself into the huge numbers of musical notes they were making and I was just feeling it. Every single sound of instruments and vocals they release on stage was just magical at that moment.
Well, I need to mention one more special thing about the final show in Japan.
After playing the new song “Flywheel”, they suddenly left the stage with the words “… We’ll be back soon!” and all of the spotlights on stage blacked out. I was like “Whaaaaat??? What’s goin’ on with them??? Is there any technical problem or???” and we were totally confused by the unknown situation for a while. After few seconds from their leaving, they came back on stage again… with Japanese bandanas on their heads. Oh my gosh, that was the ones I gave them yesterday at the first meet-up. You know I chose those bandanas for them cos the Japanese word “一番(Ichiban)” printed together with the Japanese flag means “Number One” and Sunless Rise and “Unrevealed” are just appropriate for the extreme word, aren’t they? Of course, the audience there reacted great with their epic looking and their very final song of the Japan Tour “Nothing To Save” became definitely special. As I mentioned it above already, every single song of “Unrevealed” is perfect and I love them all, so I felt something missed without “Ghosts Of The Past”, “Lost Path” and “Sunless Rise” which were dropped from their set on the tour, but on the other hand, I already have another dream for their second Japan Tour with a new album + those not-played songs. Since Japanese metalheads love complicated technical fast piece, those songs should be played anyway then. *grin*
Well, on the final day, I had more time with the band before and after the show than last evening, so we had nice talking, took some photos again and filmed their short message for fans in Japan. That was fantastic as well. They even gave me a beautiful Russian coin and loads of Russian sweets. I’m still very thankful from the bottom of my heart for everything they did for me and all of their fans here with their amazing music and wonderful personalities, was really happy to know they are currently working hard for their new album and would love to come back to Japan soon.
Once again, thanks a lot to my epic Russian heroes: Sergey, John(Ivan), Alex(B), Alex(M) and Boris. Until next time, keep going with the “Ichiban” music! We love you so much!
Part II. Interview here!
All about Sunless Rise on this site here !