One of the great joys of seeing the progressive metal mantle wrestled from the dextrous digits of the Dream Theater copyist brigade is that a new generation of bands seems genuinely determined to hasten heavy music’s evolution, rather than merely clog it up with empty complexity and endless soloing.
The Sun Explodes are a case in point: hell-bent on diversity and beholden only to their own spirit of adventure, these young Britons certainly have the technical chops to delight those weaned on Petrucci at full pelt, but they also exhibit a restlessness and magpie-like disregard for a steady diet of well-worn elements.
Best of all, the band’s second album brims with ideas. Shades of Queen, Muse and The Mars Volta add a degree of familiarity to the labyrinthine likes of A Thousand Fires and the title track, but they temper their softer, more melodic tendencies with a thick, jolting dose of death metal aggression. What emerges is an endearing penchant for jarring dissonance and enough rhythmic somersaults to appease fans of Between The Buried And Me and Dillinger Escape Plan.
The Sun Explodes come across as sonic scientists with soul. A wondrous advert for new-school thinking.