California based progressive rock standouts, Hail The Sun, returned today with two new singles – one day ahead of kicking off their national run on the final Warped Tour. Along with the releases of “Mental Knife” and “Suffocating Syndrome”, the band have also announced that they will be releasing an ambitious new full-length entitled Mental Knife on Equal Vision Records on September 28th.
Sonically, Mental Knife is the closest the band has come to realizing the sound they’ve sought since forming in 2009. The band lived largely in the same creative space for this record as they did on its predecessors – Culture Scars (2016, Equal Vision Records) and the Secret Wars EP (2017, Equal Vision Records). However, all four members of the band have elevated their already impressive style of play on Mental Knife; pushing the limit of what is capable when walking the delicate line between intricate song arrangements and massive riffs and thundering rhythms. To realize their vision for Mental Knife, the band worked with Beau Burchell, best known for his role as a member of Saosin and producing that project’s iconic Translating The Name full length which was a major influence on the members of Hail The Sun.
The title track for Mental Knife, which fans are able to hear for the first time today, directly addresses the record’s mission statement behind a wall of scorching guitars, visceral screams and driving percussion. It premiered via an innovative video that serves as a surreal performance in a dark and dingy basement. The second single revealed today, “Suffocating Syndrome”, imagines what a conversation with a god would be like over the sort of heavy ethereal soundscape that one would expect from such a weighted question. It will be featured on the official Warped Tour compilation this year.
Since finding sobriety nine years ago, Donovan Melero, the vocalist and drummer for Hail The Sun, has found himself constantly consumed with the idea of making the most of every day. Melero – along with bandmates Aric Garcia (guitar), John Stirrat (bass) and Shane Gann (guitar) – manage both the creative and business sides of Hail The Sun as they continue to grow into one of the most revered acts in their genre. Melero has also developed into one of the most respected booking agents in rock due to his incomparable work ethic. Somehow he even manages to find time to advance his side project, the progressive rock supergroup Sianvar, which has developed a sizeable cult following of its own. On Mental Knife, Melero tackles that constant need for self improvement and his obsession with making up for lost time in a way that is both unabashedly honest and artistically innovative. The title of the record stems from the idea of cutting out those aspects of your life that don’t contribute to a more fulfilling existence. The subject matter largely centers on trying to develop a genuine confidence that allows you to acknowledge your own imperfections and provides the strength necessary to work towards correcting them.