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 Post subject: Night Sun - Mournin' (1972)
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:01 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:42 pm
Posts: 192
Location: North London, UK (was NZ till 2009)
Germany was responsible for many of the best and most original heavy albums in the early '70s, and Night Sun stands out as a contender for the heaviest of them all.

The UK was the number-one influence on German metal at the time and many classic English bands came to mind when I first heard this LP, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and King Crimson being three of the most obvious. This may be a bold claim, but it’s justifiable to say that Night Sun could have become as renowned as any of them, if they had continued and expanded on the promise shown by Mournin'.

The album opens with the double-barrelled blast of Plastic Shotgun and Crazy Woman. With a slap in the face they jump straight into the maniacally twisting heavy prog that is a major part of the band's sound. Your ears are bombarded from all angles with guitar and hammond organ battles, in the finest of Deep Purple tradition, with bassist/singer Bruno Schaab's versatile vocals wailing overhead. He comes across like Robert Plant with a hint of Ozzy’s unhinged eccentricity.

Things take a darker pitch on the third track, "Got A Bone Of My Own", starting with three terrifying minutes of tension-building, gothic atmospherics. The payoff comes with a gargantuan riff that Iommi would surely be proud of, and a palpable sense of nastiness that was rare elsewhere, save for Sabbath’s best work and a handful of the best heavy proggers like ELP.

There’s no filler here, all nine tracks are worthy of note. “Living With The Dying” begins with another chilling intro, breaking into an evil chug-athon with more driving hammond organ. Extraordinarily the central drum solo does not outstay its welcome, using flanging to add musicality, it prepares the listener perfectly for the re-introduction of the hammond histrionics in the huge reprise.

The album has one ballad, but by no means the ‘obligatory’ ballad one might expect from the times. After a disconcertingly pleasant and melodic beginning, offering some touchingly emotional musings from Bruno, the minor-key melodies start to become unsettling. Heavy hammond and crunching guitar make an eventual appearance, and the song keeps its ominous feeling all the way through to Walter Kirchgässner's heart-felt guitar solo at the end.

The album closes as it opened with the jarring riffage of "Don't Start Flying". This belies Night Sun's roots in Mannheim jazz-rock bands “Swinging Sounds" and “Take Five”, with its frequent time changes and Knut Rössler's leading saxophone, matching Walter Kirchgässner's guitar lick for lick.

The early seventies saw major labels falling over themselves to sign bands playing the emerging heavy prog sounds, so rock history is littered with forgotten one-album bands and Night Sun is one of the best. Even though it was engineered by famed krautrock figurehead Conny Planc (Scorpions, Kraftwerk, Ash Ra Tempel), the band dissolved very soon after the LP was released, with little promotion or appreciation. A great loss to the early days of heavy metal indeed. Better late than never, it’s now gathering the praise it deserves.


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 Post subject: Re: Night Sun - Mournin' (1972)
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:04 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:47 pm
Posts: 2284
Location: Concordia
This could top my Best of 70's Grails list on any given day. Easily and consistently. Menacing and HEAVY and Proggy. Superb.

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 Post subject: Re: Night Sun - Mournin' (1972)
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 6:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:48 pm
Posts: 1555
I have to sit down undistracted and give this a proper chance.

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 Post subject: Re: Night Sun - Mournin' (1972)
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 10:16 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:47 pm
Posts: 2284
Location: Concordia
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Finally sourced a VG+ Canadian OG Polydor w/o breaking the bank. Worth the wait.
Plus *BUMP* for robo's killer review.

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