Equal Vision Records and California-based rock quintet Hail The Sun are excited to announce the Friday, August 11 release of the band’s new album, Divine Inner Tension (pre-order/pre-save HERE). Helmed by notable producer Kris Crummett, Divine Inner Tension finds the veteran rock band questioning everything about what it means to be here and to be alive, on both a micro level — where the importance of our existence is profound and paramount — and on a macro one — where our time on this planet is nothing but irrelevant and insignificant.
Across its 12 stirring and intense songs, Divine Inner Tension embarks on a journey that takes the listener back and forth between those two extremes as it tries to reconcile that paradox of living intentionally but relinquishing control by taking your hands off the wheel and letting the universe guide you. Stream the album’s first single, the beautifully chaotic “Chunker,” on YouTube HERE and on all platforms HERE. The band had the following to share about “Chunker”:
“What we give out is what we get back. The confidence we have in our abilities to overcome and thrive is endless. Admittedly, doubt can fuel this confidence from non-believers, as trust is intimidating. It is threatening. And this can feel good. However, when spite lingers around, it only poisons the person harboring it,
and we have been those people several times. Letting it go aligns with
the initial cause of putting out what we want back, to begin with.
Thus we grow.”
One of the main epiphanies CA’s Hail The Sun had when making its forthcoming album, Divine Inner Tension, was understanding that inspiration didn’t have to come from a place of despair, and letting go of the idea that an artist needs to be tortured in order to create. Instead, the band — Donovan Melero (vocals), Aric Garcia (guitar), Shane Gann (guitar) John Stirrat (bass) and Allen Casillas (drums) — looked beyond the viscerally emotional to the more spiritual and even enlisted the help of Ice Nine Kills’ Joe Occhiuti, who is also involved with Melero’s Kill Iconic Records, on a number of tracks.
“This is the first album we’ve written that didn’t come exclusively from a place of suffering or pain,” Melero admits. “Sadness, heartbreak and nihilism all inspire, but during the pandemic, there was a big shift, and this is more about retelling the story — retelling stories about everyday perceptions. Everything comes from within, so I thought that maybe I don’t have to suffer to feel inspired.”
Though that idea flows through the entirety of the record, it’s best captured by “The Story Writes Itself,” a song that both figuratively and literally sits at the center of the album. A typically impassioned blast of progressive post-hardcore, it frames the relationship between the universe and the self, and the tension and connection between them, that is so central to this album’s themes. Elsewhere, on “60-Minute Session Blocks,” the band grapples with the notion of identity, examining the way people change and fluctuate, often deliberately, over time. But then that’s followed immediately by “Maladapted,” which counters that idea completely, instead reverting to the notion of letting go of the self and instead trusting the universe. It’s a journey that began, for Melero, in 2020, when he was in a particularly bad place.
“I was going through a painful separation and really feeling low. Just worthless,” he says. “And mixed with that, the music industry was completely gone. So, I was searching for something more for myself; something bigger than myself. I was trying to find meaning in other things, and I got really into how powerful our thoughts are and the idea of attracting whatever it is we want into our existence. I felt an untapped potential that I always thought was there but could really start to feel it. And that was the catalyst to beginning this new phase and this album and that idea of just completely letting go.”
That, then, is the ultimate takeaway from Divine Inner Tension. It is possible to be both in and out of control at the same time. We just have to learn how. This album is the perfect guide for doing so, and as it ends with the urgently ominous “Under The Floor,” you’ll feel yourself finally letting go, finally understanding.
Divine Inner Tension track listing:
Tunnel Vision Alibi
60-Minute Session Blocks
The Story Writes Itself
(In My Dream)
I Saw You Hanging
Under the Floor