Cédric Fontaine – Vocals, guitars
François Peeters – Guitars
Gabriel Marlier – Drums
2.) Hunt the Hunter
4.) An Asteroidal Arrow
5.) Flying Poney
6.) Lecter’s Song
7.) So Petty So Cruel
Reviewing an album can be difficult sometimes. I know, first world problems. But My Diligence is one of those tricky ones to put into words. It’s a fantastic album, there’s no question of that. Start to finish, this is one of the most satisfying listens I’ve found in a while. But telling exactly -why- it works so well is a lot harder.
For one thing, it doesn’t fit so neatly into the typical genre classifications. This isn’t because it’s wild and eclectic, combining a huge range of different sounds into some avant-garde masterpiece, but more that it doesn’t feel so concerned with the topic. More than anything, Sun Rose is an album that just makes heavy, textured, immersive music, all without ever losing sight of simply being fun and enjoyable.
The closest direct comparison would be with certain stoner rock or metal bands, along with plentiful influences from the progressive and psychedelic ends of the rock spectrum. But where many such bands will lean into making something catchy or heavy, My Diligence manages to walk the line of both nicely. In its bigger, louder moments it can call Elder or Yob to mind, but when it cuts loose and has fun it sits closer to Kyuss or Corrosion of Conformity. I’ve also heard someone tell me it reminds them of Smashing Pumpkins, though I couldn’t comment on that personally as I’ve rarely sampled them (and I know, I probably should).
Setting concerns of genre aside, the most important thing here is that this is quality stuff through and through, and every track manages to bring some new flavour and sensation to the table. “An Asteroidal Arrow” builds an atmosphere beautifully, with the same skill as the best of post-metal, and its darkly soothing vibe puts me in mind of some of Tryptikon’s more mellow tracks. Though honestly, I could have it go on several minutes longer. “Flying Poney” contrasts its up-beat, bouncy sections with a heavier stomp in between. Speaking of heavy stomp, just listen to that Big Fat Fucking Riff (thank you, Thrash Hits, for that turn of phrase) in “So Petty So Cruel”. “Hunt the Hunter” opens with some really aggressive, pounding percussion. “Resentful” uses a slow, hypnotic pace: at times it will burst into something louder, at times it will layer more atop itself, but it is always anchored in that simple, mesmerising rhythm. The lead work in the latter half of “Unreal” is just plain gorgeous, one of those bits in a song that just takes off. Like the best solos do, it never feels like a departure, but a perfectly natural progression of the song, and a truly rewarding climactic pay-off.
If you’re looking for an album to blend heaviness with catchiness, a sense of playfulness with real atmosphere, force and drive with solid rock strutting, you won’t do much better than this. It’s all put together with frankly stunning ease, making it feel like the most natural thing in music as Sun Rose forges mightily heavy riffs into something with so much goddamn catchy swagger.