Album Review: Hail the Sun – ‘Divine Inner Tension’

Posted: by The Editor

The first time I heard post-hardcore band Hail the Sun was when they opened up for Circa Survive back in 2018. The band was getting ready to release their fourth full-length album Mental Knife. At the time, I asked myself why it took me so long to learn about the band as they were already making a name for themselves in the scene and were either influenced by some of my favorite bands and/or had toured with them. Fast forward to now, the band has started a new chapter with the making and release of Divine Inner Tension out this Friday via Equal Vision Records.

The first time I listened to Divine Inner Tension, the word that came to mind was growth. Right off the bat, fans may notice that there are more clean vocals than in their previous releases. For fans of Donovan Melero’s screams, don’t fret! He still delivers those–we get some in the very first track “Tunnel Vision Alibi.” We also get the guitar riffs that the band is known and loved for from the first track and onto “Mind Reader” and “Chunker.”

The fourth track, “60-Minute Session Blocks,” tells a story of struggle with the notion of identity, examining the way people change and differ over time. Following “60-Minute Session Blocks” is “Maladapted,” a song that tells a story of reverting to the notion of letting go of the self and instead trusting the universe. Let’s be honest, how many times have you found yourself in a situation like that? Where you just have to believe and throw things out into the universe hoping for the best? For a lot of listeners, “Maladapted” could be a song that they’ll relate to.

“The Story Writes Itself” is a song that both figuratively and literally sits at the center of the album. “The universe finds me/Telling me where I need to go,” sings Melero at the start of the song. “(In My Dream)” is a song that starts quietly and slowly starts to crescendo instrumentally and vocally. It also doesn’t contain any of Melero’s screams and it gracefully transitions into the following track titled “I Saw You Hanging,” which some might say would be the most radio friendly song off the album. Following “I Saw You Hanging” is “Tithe,” which is probably the heaviest song of the bunch! “Feeble Words” showcases the softer side of Hail the Sun, instrumentally and vocally. In “Little Song,” the band is able to illustrate their talent: lyrically, instrumentally, and vocally. With the lyrics of the closing track, “Under the Floor,” listeners may find themselves letting go of something (metaphorically or literally) and understanding what’s out in the world, as it seems this has been a theme throughout the album.

The message that one can take away from Divine Inner Tension is that it’s possible to be in and out of control all at the same time. Sometimes we don’t want to let go of the thing that we think is best for us. When we finally let go, we are finally trusting and believing that the universe has something in store that’s going to be better. If you’re trying to introduce someone to Hail the Sun and comparing them to Circa Survive and The Mars Volta isn’t enough, Divine Inner Tension is the album they should listen to as it’s a perfect combination of the sounds we’ve heard through the band’s discography. Lyrically, the band has taken it to another level.


Disappointing / Average / Good / Great / Phenomenal

Divine Inner Tension is out on Friday.

Jazmin Lemus | @_jazmin

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