Mission to the Sun synthesizes ambient, post-industrial landscapes with expansive arrangements and haunting vocals. Comprised of Christopher Samuels (synths, samples, programming) of Ritual Howls and Kirill Slavin (vocals), the Detroit-based duo creates an atmosphere of lamentation for a world left behind. Fragments of industrial noise and hypnotic synths fill Samuels' foreboding, alien terrain, and it's in this vastness that Slavin’s voice mourns the drudgery of everyday life and the loss of universal consciousness.
The duo's debut album, Cleansed by Fire, takes the listener on a journey home to the inferno of the sun, navigating memories of a life lived, dissolved into time. A wind of desolation opens "Take Me Back," with Slavin mourning for a return home to a distant reality. The song uses repetition to build a somber ambience while maintaining a spaciousness sparsely accented by noise with care and precision. Slavin's lyrics examine the conflict and paradoxes that riddle the human condition with
Samuel's instrumentation providing a fitting backdrop. "The Unbroken Sea" illustrates this symbiotic reflection with a propulsive bass line contradicted by ethereal synths that swell and contract, only to be finally engulfed by a pulsating crescendo of rhythmic noise at the end. The dystopian title track "Cleansed by Fire" marches steadily along to a creeping darkwave rhythm. The basic elements of dance music are there, yet the song remains devoid of danceability. Punctuated by lyrics inspired by J.G. Ballard and technological isolation, a glimmer of pop sensibility can be found beneath the haze of the track's potent mood.
Mission to the Sun beautifully captures an alien feeling: one ripe with despair and longing, one that doesn't quite belong to this world or time. A slow, satisfying burn, Cleansed by Fire traverses the dystopian past and present, while moving toward the future.
FORMAT INFORMATIONColoured LP Info: Cloudy clear/Bronze splatter coloured vinyl.