Every once in a while you come across a band whose evolution takes you by surprise. When I last sat down to write about their EP called Evolution, I could tell that the band were at the cusp of greatness. On their third full-length album, Sunset on this Generation, Amarionette have achieved a stunning accomplishment by releasing their most fully-rounded record to date. The Las Vegas, Nevada quartet is comprised of the charismatic vocalist Issy Berry, guitarist Nick Raya, bassist Ron Wells, and drummer Joseph Arrington, and the band turned to producer Brandon Jones to round out their vision for this record. With a sound reminiscent of scene staples such as Anberlin, Sleeping With Sirens, and Mayday Parade, Amarionette are ready for their moment in the limelight on this LP.
Leading off the record with the pulsating title track is a great opening statement to an album filled with so many great hooks and memorable moments. This is the first full-length featuring Berry on lead vocals, and the improvements to the band’s sound are felt far and wide. Berry’s voice is eerily reminiscent of the vocal range of Kellin Quinn (Sleeping With Sirens) as he teeters from a near-falsetto to croon with veteran ease. One of the singles released from the record thus far, “Golden Without You,” follows the raucous opening song with some great pop-rock sheen. The riffs from guitarist Nick Raya are especially on point on this track, and the band is able to rally around each note that he plays.
Other early tracks such as “Counterfeits” and “Modern Disco III” showcase the ability of Berry to speed up his vocal approach to keep up with the frenetic pace of his backing band. “Let Go” is another example of Amarionette fully realizing their potential as artists by filling their songs with memorable hooks and pop-based song structures. I think fans of the band will be surprised by just how much of an improvement these songs play out on this genre-blending album.
The record also features a few collaborative tracks such as “Throwing Rocks” featuring Andres, “Amnesia” featuring Kurt Travis, and “Screaming is Serious Business Pt. III” featuring Joey Holiday. These partnerships never distract from the overall message of the record, and instead, they allow Amarionette to harmonize their vocals in different ways. “Throwing Rocks” also displays the impressive guitar playing ability of Raya with an underrated solo midway through the song. Each of these standout moments goes a long way in showcasing the improvements that the band has made in their songwriting and musicianship.
Album closer, “Luminescent Nights” offers up the last glimpse of what the band may be thinking of creating in the next chapter of their band. The atmospheric sounds that are layered over Berry’s vocals make for an enjoyable listening experience. Berry even takes a backseat to his backing band midway through the song to allow them to jam out a great instrumental section of the track. The song eventually ends with Berry harmonizing with several vocal parts blended together for an amazing sounding closing statement.
If there are any faults on Sunset on this Generation, they are certainly hard to discover on the first few spins of the record. While some may say that the songs blend too close together to distinguish the difference between each of the unique tracks easily, I would push back and say that the band has created a cohesive artistic statement that does a nice job of bringing each of the band members’ influences directly back into the end product. This album may have only partially benefited from a “slow jam” or two in the song sequencing. Still, it’s hard to deny the record’s infectious nature and replayability that leaves the listener craving more. In a time where albums have been delayed for long periods due to the on-going pandemic, let’s pause to take a moment to appreciate records such as this one that makes the days pass by easier.