Behind The Sun was formed on the edges of Israel's vast Negev-desert. The music and lyrics on their debut album speak of their personal trials and tribulations living in this biblical, but harsh land. The band's lyrics are dealing with, among other things, the breakdown of society, loss, decay, personal relationships, sanctity of life, first-hand experience of the horrors of war, corrupt leadership and the transcendental nature of their desert home. The band consisting of Gad Erez (vocals), Aaron Lieber and Yoram Allouche (guitars), Dan Henry Levy (bass) and Saar Gur (drums), have a great variety of experiences to deal with. Gad Erez served in the army in a tank division for three years in one of the most dangerous places in the world. This caused mental scars whereof he wrote on long patrols in reserve duty. Aaron Lieber has toured all over the world in different bands, and Yoram Allouche is the leading force behind the Iron Maiden tribute band Prowlers. Drummer Saar Gur has spent almost twenty years studying many drumming styles ranging from hard jazz and fusion to funk, metal and progressive rock. Bass player Dan Levy studies dentistry.
Listening to this eponymous debut album, the first thing that strikes me is the pure sound of the band: just natural guitar play, a drummer who brings the music to life, no effects or soundscapes whatsoever, but real down to earth music straight from the heart. Vocalist Gad Erez shows how passionate a vocalist can be. Listen to Wishful Thinking or Strong Wind, where he sometimes sounds like Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam) or Sully Erna (Godsmack). Behind The Sun blend a diversity of influences: seventies progressive rock, nineties grunge and alternative rock in Second December and Fifteenth Dawn. In Running Water they add a bit of jazz rock; all these influences give the band an almost unique sound. A second thing that hits me is the lack of keyboards which means that the guitars have to provide for most of the melodies. Drummer Saar Gur almost uses his drum kits as an extra melodic element. Most of the songs have a kind of intensity like The Doors used to incorporate in their songs combined with smooth progressive guitar solos. The outcome is a real impressive album.
Behind The Sun is a band that blend all the aforementioned influences to a very pleasant sounding piece of music and with a passionate vocalist like Gad Erez they really hit the jack-pot. The instruments sound sober and natural, but that simplification is just the strength of this Israelian combo. For starting a career, this album certainly will bring the band on a higher step of the ladder to success. Behind The Sun has great potential; it seems they're working on a second album now. I'm looking forward to it since Behind The Sun has really made a point!
**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013