Sunburst – Manifesto


Progressive metal band Sunburst return after an 8 year hiatus with their second album that is sure to be a favorite for those who know the band and one that will certainly win over a new collection of fans with its complex arrangements,

The Greek band Sunburst has their origin going back to 2010 with their debut album Fragments of Creation being released in 2016.  Taking inspiration from legendary bands like Dream Theater, Nevermore, and Symphony X, the debut album received critical acclaim among the progressive metal community.  The band went on to play some shows in Europe and their homeland Greece and began working on material for the second album.  Unfortunately for fans, this has taken quite a while with 8 years passing before Manifesto being released. The album was produced by the band and Steve Lado who also mixed and mastered the album.  Being a progressive metal album, you have to have keyboards and orchestral arrangements and those were handled by Bob Katsionis and John K, respectively.

Being more of an aging hardcore kid who likes death/black/extreme metal and punk, progressive metal is not one of my go-to genres, but I can definitely appreciate great musicianship and songwriting and one of my favorite bands over the years is Evergrey, so with that in mind, how does Sunburst fare?  I am definitely reminded quite a bit of Evergrey in terms of how the songs are constructed and in the vocals from Vasilis Georgiou who has that emotional, somewhat somber, dark overall timbre that works so well with progressive metal. 

“The Flood” opens up with some softer, melodic notes and an interesting drum line before the guitars come in bringing the heaviness with a somewhat straightforward yet intense riff accented nicely by keyboard elements.  Vasillis Georgiou’s vocals are smooth and the soaring chorus is at once catchy and haunting.  Artisitic flourishes are scattered throughout the song and highlight the talent of the musicians without becoming a focal point…the more you listen, the more you hear, which is great for the listener.  Partway through the song, there is a faster music interlude with some great interplay between guitar and keyboards before an extended guitar solo section, all of which are both expected but welcome and incorporated perfectly into the song.  By this point, I already know I’m going to enjoy the album and will be recommending it.

“Hollow Lies” is one of the tracks with videos from the band and opens up with a driving, fast riff accented nicely by the pounding drums of Kostas Milonas.  After what seems like an intro almost, a more complex guitar riff takes the song into a different direction and the band settles into a heavy, slow choppy riff and drum part for the beginning of the vocals, but the simplicity doesn’t last long as you might expect with progressive metal.  The song picks up pace and becomes more melodic.

“Samaritan” also starts out with a groovy, fast riff backed by some great drumming then becomes quieter during the vocals allowing them to shine.  Much like in the other songs, the guitars really shine throughout the song both in the riffs, fills, and solos.  At this point, I also came to realize how well the production and mixing is on the album as everything seems in balance.  Keyboards and orchestral  parts are well incorporated but do not take away from the heaviness of the rest of the instruments.  The rhythm section provides a solid foundation for the guitars, vocals, and other elements to build on.

“Perpetual Descent” has a return to a quieter, melodic opening but the calmness is short-lived with an early guitar solo that leads into what is almost a Pantera-like riff, which is surprising in this context but it works really well within the song.  The songs returns to the quieter, melodic music of the opening with some whispered vocals, before building into the full band coming back in before a guitar solo and ending with some soaring vocals.

“Inimicus Intus” jumps right into a catchy riff that has a good groove feel to it and it comes back at several points within the song and “From the Cradle to the Grave” provides another great mix of quieter sections, soaring choruses, emotional vocals, and heavy riffs.

“Nocturne” closes out the album and is one of the tracks where the band pulls out all the stops and brings in more keyboards and orchestral elements than on some of the other tracks.  Progressive metal bands sometimes go a bit overboard in this regard, but Sunburst have shown a good bit of restraint on this song and on the album in general, which makes the listening experience that much more enjoyable.

Fans of Sunburst have been waiting a long 8 years for this, the second release from the band, and I would say the wait is well worth it.  Manifesto is great collection of songs highlighting the musical talent of the band as well as their ability to craft complex, lush arrangements that allow the emotion from the vocals to come through.  We can only hope it isn’t another 8 years before the next Sunburst release.

Rating: 9/10

Written by John Jackson


  1. The Flood
  2. Hollow Lies
  3. Samaritan
  4. Perpetual Descent
  5. Inimicus Intus
  6. From the Cradle to the Grav
  7. Manifesto
  8. Nocturne

Band Members
Vasilis Georgiou – Vocals
Gus Drax – Guitars
Kostas Milonas – Drums
Nick Grey – Bass

Release date:  June 14t. 2024

Record label: Inner Wound Recordings

2016: Fragments of Creation (review)

Video for “Hollow Lies”

Video for “From the Cradle to the Grave”

Sunburst online

Inner Wound Recordings online

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts