|Review: Professor Black - Sunrise|
Label: High Roller Records
Year released: 2018
Genre: Viking Metal
Review online: November 11, 2018
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Rated 3/5 (60%) (1 Vote)
Pharaoh drummer Chris Black is one prolific dude. In addition to his duties in Pharaoh, he has released several albums (playing most, if not all the instruments himself) under names like High Spirits, Metalusafer and Aktor. 2018 sees him release THREE full-length albums under the name Professor Black; I Am the Rock, LVPVS and the one reviewed here, Sunrise.
Sunrise is Black's homage to late-period Bathory, as one look at the cover and title font should make plain. The songwriting is characterized by big, thundering riffs, somber backing vocals and epic lyrical topics. On the whole, the material is much heavier than High Spirits but there's a more noticeable hard rock vibe running through Sunrise than anything Bathory ever did, and that's fine. Think of Sunrise as being "in the style" of Bathory as opposed to trying to sound exactly like the Nordland albums. Regardless, tracks like "Die by the Sun" and "No Way Back" do not lack in the ability to sweep you away to a time and place much different from the modern world.
I really enjoyed Sunrise as a fan of both Viking metal and hard rock though I can imagine fans of heavier Viking stuff not jumping all over this right off the bat. And that's the joy of metal; there's so much to choose from and Chris Black certainly gives you a lot of choices.
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