London based five-piece AT THE SUN (ATS) have just released their debut album Leave Before The Light. They started off with a Pledge Music Campaign then decided to open the merchandise store on their website, having agreed to honour all pledges. This album follows their debut 4-track EP which was released in 2017. In 2018 ATS competed against over 200 other bands in Hard Rock Hell’s Highway To Hell competition coming third, which is no mean feat. Wanting their debut album to be something different and special they worked with freelance artist and illustrator Paulina Vassileva who illustrated the striking hand-drawn and inked album cover. You can read a more detailed biography of ATS here.
In Greek mythology Icarus flew too close to the sun with wings made of feathers and wax. The heat melted the wax and he crashed back down to the ocean and died. Are AT THE SUN on a crash course to oblivion? Let’s see. My first thought when I listened to the album was of the band Toseland, fronted by Superbike champion turned singer James Toseland, their debut album was named Renegade and likewise, ATS have a song Renegade too. Although I picked up other similarities and comparisons along the way and whilst it may only be in a riff, a lyric or a beat it should give you an idea of what to expect from ATS.
Leave Before The Light opens with the hard hitting Only A Fool with lots of rapid fire drumming and intricate riffs, the band released a brand new video of this song, to coincide with album release day. A no frills video of the band performing the song, just as music should be, one band, one song no gimmicks! Preacher more of the same. Breathe with a driving beat had me thinking of the aforementioned Toseland meeting Bigfoot, who have recently called it a day, taking a deep breath and exhaling Breathe! Walk On Over a sexy song with some great riffs had me thinking of a sultrier version of War Pigs by Black Sabbath. For Lay It On Me we stay with Black Sabbath as their Evil Woman, Rolls Over (and) Lay(s) Down (Status Quo) with Wolfmother’s Woman.
Lifetime has a Toseland vibe and although the lyrics are about a lifetime of heartache and hard times, halfway through the album I’m finding that Life is Beautiful for ATS so far. Bite Your Tongue reminded me of Cochise by Audioslave, whilst the next song Indestructible has more of a Gothic Sisters of Mercy vibe to the opening riffs before it blends into a more melodic number with some complex riffs. Renegade had me thinking Neil Young’s Rocking in The Free World meets Black Sabbath’s N.I.B.
Penultimate track Soak It Up is something like The Michael Schenker Group’s Armed and Ready fighting with Don’t Bring Me Down by Electric Light Orchestra. Then we come to the end and finish as we started with some hard hitting drums and the final opportunity to Raise Your Glass to ATS and say Fuck It! I do indeed raise my glass to them an excellent debut album, well worth a listen. You can catch them live in the UK next month when they go on tour.
AT THE SUN are on a flight path to the sun but, unlike Icarus, their wings are made of the finest metal and firmly bolted on, may they continue to soar onward and upward.
12. Raise Your Glass
Harry Dale – Vocals
Alex Matthews – Bass
Kieron Heavens – Rhythm Guitar
Chet Jogia – Lead Guitar
Craig Steen – Drums