Ark - Burn the Sun (2001)Release ID: 2650

Ark - Burn the Sun (2001) Cover
Rexorcist Rexorcist / June 16, 2024 / Comments 0 / 0

Burn the Sun sees the guitar effects taking the astral atmosphere approach, which gives this album a much stronger personality.  The band's obviously capitalizing on the space themes that were fairly popular in prog at the time, much like the two-month-later release of Space Metal by Star One, featuring vocalist Jorn Lande's Symphony X's Russell Allen, who would record duet albums with Jorn later.  So while Ark weren't doing anything new, capitalizing on the fad worked out for them in terms of personality and sound.  Many of the songs steer towards 2000's heavy metal rather than prog, and these jams are quite cool.  Even on only decent songs like Waking Hour you get a nice atmosphere to it.

I also found that the lyrics seem to be a little more fleshed out than before, less reliant on "anthem" tropes present in a lot of rock and metal songwriting.  Take the opener's "Why do we hide behind a masque, suddenly breathless, all is black and blinding me."  A bit on the visual side.  However, sometimes there are also typical lines like "Maybe someday we will know the reason why, only love can bring us forward, holding hands together."  This is a line that Bieber can write.  I don't even know if he writes his own material or not, and I know he can actually write this.  So the actual quality of lyricism fluctuates between cool and visual to typical and needless.

Ironically, on that same song I pulled those crappier lyrics from, the guitar solo is one of the absolute best on the album, which brings me right to my next piece of commentary: the rhythms and riffs are vastly improved on.  I found most of this stuff catchy for being catchy's sake while still keeping up a decent level of progginess and personality, so I always enjoyed what I was hearing, even if I didn't always love it.  I even found a few I would like to play myself if I ever took up guitar.

So this is a slight improvement over the debut.  They're both considered prog classics, but I found that Ark's second album was still guilty of tropes that even Townsend was guilty of in his 1997 debut, Ocean Machine.  Overall, this is a pretty cool album, but nothing in comparison to the giants of prog metal.


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Burn the Sun
The Infinite

Progressive Metal (conventional)

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Ark chronology

Ark (1999)
Burn the Sun (2001)