Released last year on June 22, 2015, Armonite’s second album, and first album in 15 years The Sun Is New Each Day is a vibrant instrumental prog album that is full of both complex and beautiful melodies. The prominent electric violin reminds me a bit of the Dixie Dregs. The album sounds like a Soundtrack at times, which makes sense since the band has published videos of a few movie theme covers from their show The Soundtrack is New Each Day. In fact, it sounds more like a video game soundtrack to me. ‘‘G’ as in Gears’ could easily pass as a snow stage with its bright festive melodies, and ‘Sandstorm’ as a desert stage with its egyptian style. The track ‘Insert Coin’ even uses some 8-bit samples from Super Mario Bros. and chiptunes from guest musician Anders ‘Goto80’ Carlsson.
This album is full of catchy tunes that you could replay continuously and not tire of. The bass playing by Porcupine Tree bassist Colin Edwin is excellent. As is the playing from the rest of the members.
The opening track ‘Suitcase War’ is an upbeat song with the electric violin beautifully complementing the distorted guitars, aggressive drumming, and intricate bass-line. The violin solo near the end of the song is very impressive and sets the perfect tone for the rest of the album.
The second track, ‘Connect Four’, is a bit more mellow, and has some great keyboard synths that fit well with the violin sound.
‘‘G’ as in Gears’ features a vocal sample from Samuel Gomper’s famous speech, “What does the Working Man Want?” and describes the theme of the album, which the band describes as “a rejection of how their life has changed after becoming workaholics.”
‘Satellites’ is a stand out track on the album with some extremely catchy riffs and strong melodies. The main hook repeats with different synth sounds throughout the song making it sound fresh despite being somewhat repetitive.
‘Die Grauen Herren’ sounds like a track you’d hear in a movie or video game when the hero confronts their nemesis, and even features a fitting evil laugh sample. It has sort of a hispanic vibe to it, which fits well with the maniacal tone.
‘Le temps qui fait ta rose’ is a mellow track featuring a soft piano melody paired with beautiful violin playing. This is a melancholy song that signals the album is nearing the end.
‘Bastian’s Happy Flight’, is a bonus track that was provided in my copy of the album that doesn’t appear on the standard edition, but you can hear it on the band’s YouTube channel, in the form of a music video featuring footage from the movie “The Neverending Story”. This is a cover of one of the songs from the movie and part of their The Soundtrack is New Each Day collection.
The diversity of themes and styles present on this album are impressive and overall it’s a solid album. It appeals to me as both a musician and a gamer, as I appreciate both the technicality of the playing, as well as the cinematic feeling the music evokes. The band has offered this album for free in an attempt to grow their fanbase and help them bring the music live and go on tour. You can also support the band by donating some money on their bandcamp page.
A promotional copy of this album was used for this review.
1. Suitcase war – 03:45
2. Connect Four – 03:22
3. G’ as in Gears – 03:20
4. Sandstorm – 03:43
5. Slippery Slope – 03:17
6. Satellites – 03:47
7. Die Grauen Herren – 02:47
8. Le temps qui fait ta rose – 03:25
9. Insert Coin – 03:36
10. Bastian’s Happy Flight – 03:16
Total running time: 34:23
Release date: 2015/6/22
File type listened to: WAV
Bit depth: 16 Bit
Sampling frequency: 44,100 Hz, 2 channels