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3.89 | 5 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1972

Filed under Hard Rock


1. Plastic Shotgun (2:35)
2. Crazy Woman (4:16)
3. Got a Bone of My Own (7:49)
4. Slush Pan Man (4:25)
5. Living With the Dying (5:29)
6. Come Down (5:49)
7. Blind (4:23)
8. Nightmare (3:15)
9. Don't Start Flying (3:06)

Total Time: 41:11


- Bruno Schaab / vocals, bass
- Walter Kirchgassner / guitar
- Knut Rossler / organ, piano, trumpet, bassoon
- Ulrich Staudt / drums

About this release

Zebra, 1972. Released by Polydor in Canada in 1973 and again in Germany in 1976.

Remastered on CD in 1997 by Second Battle, and again on LP in 2001. Limited edition LP released in 2012.

Produced by Konrad Plank.

Thanks to Unitron, 666sharon666 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

What happens when you combine Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Led Zeppelin, and mix it together in a crazy early heavy metal album that was ahead of it's time and also fit nicely with other early 70's metal bands? You get the German Night Sun's sole studio album, Mournin'.

The German music scene during the early 70's was home to Krautrock, an experimental rock movement that birthed bands such as Can and Neu! as well as electronic pioneers Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream. With Mournin' being produced by Konrad Plank, known for producing albums for many Krautrock staples, you would think it would fit into this scene. However, it's an amazing and blistering slice of early metal.

Night Sun immediately wants the listener to know that they aren't fucking around, as "Plastic Shotgun" is faster, heavier, and spits more than anything else from 1972. It sounds like what is probably the earliest example of thrash metal, having nearly the same force and aggression of an early thrash opening track like Metallica's "Hit the Lights". There's of course the Deep Purple-esque organ and Robert Plant meets Ian Gillian vocals that lets you know what year this is, but the main riff is jagged and crushing and would open a mosh pit right up had this been released more than a decade later.

That's the song that makes this album groundbreaking, but the majority of the rest of the album is up there with the best of early 70's heavy metal. "Got a Bone of My Own" begins with a three minute long dark and haunting ambient section that rivals the brooding atmosphere of Black Sabbath's self-titled song, before raining down gargantuan doom metal riffing that crushes the listener's skull. "Slush Pan Man" and "Come Down" follow similar suit, with the latter beginning more softly before bringing in the heavy artillery. "Blind" and "Nightmare" pick the speed back up, less proto-thrash but still blisteringly fast heavy metal/hard rock.

The last song, "Don't Start Flying", is a bit of an oddball. It still maintains the heavy riffing, but blends in a lot of horns that take a little while getting used to, but sometimes has the same swing of a song like Gentle Giant's "Peel the Paint".

If you're looking for some heavy, dark, and crushing heavy metal from the 70's, Night Sun's lone wonder of Mournin' is an essential listen. Will these guys ever reform? Who knows, and who knows if it will even be heavy metal if they do. As of now, they're a one album legend. And with an album as groundbreaking and amazing as this one, there is no problem with that. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!
This is one of those albums where it might have been really big had it came out a couple of years earlier. Night Sun take a proto-metal template derived mainly from classic Deep Purple - complete with a prominent role for Knut Rossler's electric organ - and turns it up to 11, creating faster and more furious pieces than anything attempted by Deep Purple at this point in time.

Multi-instrumentalist Rossler is the star player here, incorporating trumpet and bassoon into the band's sound in order to up the musical complexity and diversity, and manages to do so without compromising heaviness. However, emerging as it did at a time when metal was beginning to move away from the electric organ as a staple instrument of heavy rock, it's a bit of a musical dead end, with some compositions coming across as throwing everything they can at the listener in the hope that something will stick. Still, this is an interesting reminder of the time when heavy groups' instrumentation was not quite so limited, as well as a suggestion of the sonic possibilities were groups to become a bit more broad-minded today.
OK, I'm putting this into the category of "How the Hell did I Miss This One?".

As a member of ProgArchives for nearly 7 years, I didn't spot this in the archives of Heavy Prog, and I shall have to make amends and produce a review from a Prog perspective - but here, it's the metal credentials that are important.

This album delivers heavy metal in truckloads, and here I'm talking about railway trucks, hauled by multiple locomotives.

The comparisions to Black Sabbath and Deep Purple are fair - and this a tribute to both bands, because Night Sun were not copycats, but wrought from the molten remains of both bands a form of metal that is unique, brutal, and technically masterful, packed with progressive ideas, and years ahead of most of the NWoBHM, which was to peak a decade later.

Like Sabbath and Purple, the Blues and Jazz roots are there, but being yanked at, hard.

Check out Plastic Sun - it bears a remarkable resemblance to Megadeth.

There. I've said it now - although I can't name the piece(s) offhand, the similarities are there - the style, speed and precision are all there. Let's repeat the comparative band's name shall we? Megadeth - although maybe with John Gallagher from Raven on vocals.

The keyboards make this sound like a Deep Purple or Atomic Rooster record being played at 78 (read up on turntables if this means nothing to you!), and the crazy tempo changes and wierd interjections will have you leaping around like a manic. Truly, this piece is worth the price of admission alone.

"Crazy Woman" begins more how we'd expect a piece from this era to begin, although those crazily detuned keyboard sounds are very eerie, and when the machine gun attack riff slams in, you really don't expect it.

It does become slightly tamer after this - but only in the same sense as you might consider Blue Cheer to be tamer. The style here is remarkably similar to those godfathers of metal - until the keyboard/guitar solo kicks in, which is directly from the Deep Purple school, the guitarist laying down some really neat Blackmore styling in his licks alongside the more predictable pentatonic stuff.

Next up is "Got a Bone of My Own", with a really creepy and doomy intro, with disturbing wooey noises, like Hawkwind on a bad trip. Forget scales and modes (although there's a strong Phrygian flavour here), Hans Brandeis puts in some really tasty and unpredictable atmospheric fretwork - and check out the RIFF (yes, capital letters for this mother). It could only be heavier if they drop tuned it. Oh, wait... and intricate, too - this riff defines the term intricate riff. No - scratch that, it defines the term, rips the term up, stomps on it, then turns it into those railway trucks and multiple locomotives I mentioned earlier.

The onslaught isn't let up for a second, even with odd titles like "Slush Pan Man". Tritones are thrown around the riff patterns as the lead guitar snarls down hybrid scales, and Bruno Schaab (the same vocalist who later joined Guru Guru) barks out what seems to be a tale of drug addiction. The guitar solo has a distinctly jazzy flavour - hardly surprising, given that most of the group were initially in a jazz group who named themselves after Dave Brubeck's famous piece, Take 5. This is one well crafted, and powerfully hitting song.

The title track follows, and it's more of the same, although now it sounds somewhat like early Judas Priest. The song doesn't seem quite so satisfying to me, and the drum solo is sloppy - and heavily phased, apprently in order to hide that fact. Coming out of the drum solo, the guitar solo that follows feels a bit more uplifting, and the keyboard solo flows well out of it. A second guitar solo feels overdone, and a second keyboard solo has me reaching for the skip button.

"Come Down" is a more delicate song - and the intro reminds me strongly of Muse, or possibly Radiohead. I won't make the "it's hard to tell" joke...

Absolutely sublime and inventive - but the least metal piece on the album, esepcially when it jumps into the quasi-funky riff... but what's this? Suddenly it heavies up, er, I mean HEAVIES up. As the song progresses and the structure makes itself clearer, it shapes up to be an incredibly beautiful, and very dark piece.

"Blind" follows, and, despite the density of tritones, feels more like "hard rock" than "heavy metal" - but listening to this, it's hard to tell what the difference is.

If "Plastic Sun" sounds like Megadeth (and to my ears, it does), then "Nightmare" sounds like "Kill 'Em All" era Metallica - only more proggy. It's not in full-blown thrash territory, but sails mighty close to the wind. Faster than you can say "Metal Militia".

The albums closes with the brain-twisting "Don't Start Flying". This is one crazy song, with bits and pieces of Gong's Flying Teapot (Radio Gnome Invisible), or some of the heavier moments of Camembert Electrique mixed up with shreds of Hendrix and Gary Moore.

Fans of "complex" metal should give this album a listen. This is complex, and I don't mean "complex for 1972".

It would be fairest to file this under Proto Progressive Metal - but only because the release date assumes the "Proto" part.

Kickass stuff - and very nearly a perfect album to boot. I didn't like the title track much - but what the hell, this is awesome and should be in every metal collection.

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