Album of the Day: Employed to Serve – The Warmth of a Dying Sun

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Label: Holy Roar Records

Can I confess something that, to some, will seem like blasphemy? I really didn’t like The Warmth of a Dying Sun on initial listens. The 2017 album from Employed to Serve really didn’t click with me for a while. Its technical, pummeling hardcore left me utterly unmoved on early listens, its frantic leads and crushing breakdowns doing absolutely nothing for me. But then, after leaving it a few months, for some unknown reason I couldn’t get ‘I Spend My Days’ out of my head, leading to me going back to the album and discovering that, oh hey, this is much, much better than I remember – to the extent that I now totally understand the hype around this band, and believe it’s completely justified.

One thing that’s clear to me now, and that escaped me on early listens, is that for all the palm-muted breakdowns and down-tuned riffs that seem deceptively simple at times, there’s also a real sense of melody and hooks hidden within the album. Songs like the righteous ‘Good For Nothing’ and the short, frantic ‘Never Falls Far’ are laced with hidden melodies that will get these songs stuck in your head for days. That Employed to Serve manage this without ever compromising on the harder edge of their sound speaks volumes about their talent, and I dread to imagine how explosive and cathartic these songs are live. Kerrang! named The Warmth of a Dying Sun their best album of 2017, and it took me some time, but I can now totally see why.

The Warmth of a Dying Sun is available digitally, on vinyl, and on CD via Bandcamp and the Holy Roar webstore. It can also be streamed on Spotify.

 

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