Review by Alex Grindor on May 16, 2023.
Birthed in 2019, "TurtleSun" is a metal band from Chile that features a lot of variety and versatility, which has been causing a bit of a buzz for some time. Originally meant to be a backing band of sorts for "Fer" (vocalist) to expose her solo work, it has become a full-fledged band by now and has remained in activity ever since. After 3 years, they have finally managed to release their debut mini-album. While it is a promising work, it has some minor rough edges that need to be improved.
To describe TurtleSun's music (despite the somewhat happy name) is to reach an emotion all too familiar with us: anger. From the opener 'Our Voice', there is a constant anger, pain and discontent in the music as a whole. Considering that their vocalist is an avid protester towards every sort of injustice, this should be of no surprise. The vocals have a burning, raging passion that is expressed throughout every vocal line in this work, which accentuates the introspective lyrical themes even more. The bass has a prominent sound and it sits crystal clear on the mix, adding that punch and weight to the sound. Guitars deal with a variety of riffs that range from crushing and heavy to solemn and melancholic. The drums, being the entire backbone of the band, are played with excellent precision and use every resource possible in favor of the music.
Production wise, it is a bit unpolished but without retracting from the overall experience. There are brief moments when one instrument sounds louder than the others but this is quickly fixed as the songs go along. As far as I know, this is an independent EP in its entirety, and even though the band itself recorded this on their own instead of going to a studio, it is still a well done job nonetheless. There are very minute discrepancies, like in 'Fake Smiles' where the guitar solo seems to have misplaced a few notes of the solo, or the brief whispered vocals in the last track that are almost unlistenable. But beyond this, and the somewhat raw production of the EP, it is a well done job. The music itself features a lot of dynamics and abrupt changes, constantly spicing up the tracks with some interesting elements. Still, the band shows they are capable of being more mellow, as shown in the track 'Moments' which features a vocal duet and soft, clean guitars.
TurtleSun, in around 30 minutes, has crafted a competent work that serves as a testament of their capabilities as a band. It is a bit rough on the edges and with a few mistakes here and there, but rarely does a band make their first release perfect. With their feet firmly set in honing and perfecting their own sound, TurtleSun has a bright path ahead, even if their music deals with some dark themes. While I sing my praises to the vocalist (who has an excellent range and outstanding performance, even more so live), the band as a whole is blooming with commendable talent and for being their first work, it hits most of the right notes at once.
EP available on all streaming platforms so if you can, give them a chance.
Rating: 8.1 out of 10390