Written & recorded in seven days, 'The Black Sun Shining' is Rhys Marsh's instinctive follow-up to his 2014 debut solo album, 'Sentiment'.
'The Black Sun Shining' is a 42-minute song-cycle, intended to be listened to as one piece of music.
From the hypnotic opening movement, to sections that move through the intense, the dissonant & the fragile, this is an album that allows the impulses to shine through, as the songs were written & recorded simultaneously.
As with his previous solo album, 'The Black Sun Shining' was performed, recorded & produced by Marsh alone, & takes a different direction to his work so far, introducing some more ethnic rhythm patterns & at times a stark, harmonic minimalism.
Written, performed & recorded on the 20-24 & 27-28 July, then mixed on the 3-4 August, 2015, by Rhys Marsh at Autumnsongs Recording Studio, Trondheim
Instruments used were voice, analogue synthesizer, fender rhodes, electric guitar, bass guitar, drum kit, tabla, hand drum, cymbals, tambourine, shaker, zither, flute, saxophone, drum machine, electric harmonium & pedal steel guitar
Cover photograph & design by Rhys Marsh, studio photography by Silje Leirvik
“Multi-instrumentalist invokes Scandinavian melancholy and the spirit of the 1970s.”
“‘The Black Sun Shining’ has an extraordinary and unusual mood, with ambitiously-shaped and extremely original music. Dense and dark, but all the time inspiring. Difficult to define, while at the same time fascinating. The aesthetics, creativity, melancholy and feeling that we find on the album show us the infinite artistic possibilities of Marsh.”
“Rhys doesn’t scream his message in your face like the archetypal nihilistic rocker. He’s far more seductive. There’s depth and texture here, seasoned with Rhys’s trademark melancholic crooning, and in places I am reminded of David Bowie’s Berlin trilogy.”
—The Progressive Aspect
“This 42-minute unplanned album, made in seven days, is immersive — with hypnotic tones, ambient, electro, cold-wave and prog. An outlandish and mesmerizing album, expressing restrained and soft feelings, as well as unspoken musical words. Just lovely.”
“Multi-instrumentalist Rhys Marsh had some time on his hands and rather than remain idle, he put his hands to work to create this amazing disc called 'The Black Sun Shining'. These seven compositions are laden with melancholy and full of intriguing sounds, instrumentation and sonic textures. 'The Black Sun Shining' is an absorbing listen and well worth the time you spend with it.”
—The Progressive Rock Files
“It's not unusual to see Marsh's name show up in various prog-related contexts, and truth be told prog is present as an undercurrent on the album. Yet by prog standards the material is restrained, and the arrangements aren't weighed down by overembellishment. If forced to do so, one might characterize the material as dark, vocal-based electronic-pop that conceivably would appeal to fans of both Depeche Mode and prog, especially those with an appetite for concise song-styled productions as opposed to complex, long-form epics.”
“'The Black Sun Shining' has a refreshingly unpolished charm, and cleverly mixes psychedelia, post-rock and 80's new wave sounds, with Dadaist melodies, haunting vocals and associations to This Mortal Coil, Dead Can Dance and other 4AD acts. Once more, Rhys Marsh impresses us as a strikingly versatile artist. Undoubtedly, just before the turn of the year, here is a small diamond in the rough which deserves to slip onto the leaderboard.”
“2015 has proven to be one of the best years in the history of rock music. As the year comes to a close, do not–for a moment–bypass Rhys Marsh’s THE BLACK SUN SHINING. It is not only one of the finest albums of 2015, it’s one of the finest albums I’ve ever had the privilege to hear. Much darker and less psychedelic than the first solo album, THE BLACK SUN SHINING revels in gothic gloom, steady explosions of primitive and driving percussion, as well as heart-felt lyrics. There’s nothing Marsh does that doesn’t impress me, but this is—to my mind—his absolute finest effort.”
released December 1, 2015
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