According to Sun Descends Black guitarist Dustin Weddle, metal in his hometown of Little Rock, AR “leans” to the “slower side of things.” Although Weddle insists “that’s great,” Sun Descends Black set out to do things much differently.
“The intention is just to make brutal, fast death metal the way we like it,” Weddle says. “There’s not really any bands that play like this around here at the moment, so . . . we really just want to change things up a bit to what’s already happening here.”
Sun Descends Black formed a little over a year ago when drummer “Dookie” Dave contacted Weddle about “starting a ‘grindcore’ band,” Weddle relates. Dave, an inveterate warrior who’s drummed in numerous killer projects, knew of Weddle from having seen his other bands Snakedriver, and, more recently, Sumokem.
“We agreed to meet and we ended up settling on a little more varied death metal sound with grind tendencies.We wanted to be in the spirit of all the nasty old school extreme metal that we grew up loving . . . bands like Demigod, None So Vile-era Cryptopsy, the first Brutal Truth album, Napalm Death, Autopsy . . . I was up for the challenge to write music a bit faster than I had in the past.”
This debut EP from Sun Descends Black stands as a seven part testament to Weddle and Dave having risen to that challenge, and lobbed its proverbial head off, again and again, seven times over.
And it all starts with Herzog waxing on the darker points of life over some thrumming synth pad.
Weddle explains that the Herzog quotes comes “from the movie Lessons of Darkness, which was this kind of pseudo-documentary that was really controversial when he released it. People boo’d him as he walked down the aisle after its screening at the Berlin Film Festival because many claimed he aestheticized the war in Kuwait. He didn’t make a documentary so much as an artistic statement on the horrors of war. Much like Goya’s Disasters of War series before that. While we [in Sun Descends Black] don’t have an overt political stance other than the recognition that the world is in a very fucked place right now, I felt the sample mirrored those apocalyptic themes of the music.”
Which music, Weddle says, he and Dave wrote “off and on” for close to a year before vocalist Wade Vandegrift came in and “knocked out [the] vocals.” Weddle makes a point of saying about Vandegrift’s vocals, “We were very impressed. It was like the missing piece of the puzzle had finally been found.”
Then, Weddle says, they went to “this guy Ray at Crystal Studios outside of town,” to record their debut EP. “Dave wanted to record there because it was where his old death metal band, Shredded Corpse, recorded in the 90s. Rocky from Shredded Corpse also helped out with recording the drums, mixing, and mastering. I had never recorded at that studio before, but was really impressed with how it turned out.”
Today marks the release of the first, self-released version of EP I on cassette, available while supplies last. According to Weddle, “Gutteral Topics are planning to release a digipack CD as well as another run of tapes early next year.”
Meanwhile, Sun Descends Black are playing shows and already at work on their next EP, which Weddle promises will grind even harder!