Not to be confused with an obscure '70s group called Sunrise (which recorded for Buddah Records), the Sunrise profiled in this bio is a Polish hardcore/metalcore unit of the '90s and 2000s. In Europe, the Warsaw-based outfit has a reputation for being a band that became increasingly heavy as time went on; they started out as a basic hardcore group in the old post-punk sense, but when they evolved into full-fledged metalcore (picking up some Scandinavian death metal influence along the way), they became much harsher -- much more intense, claustrophobic, dense, and blistering. As a metalcore crew, the Poles have thrived on the sort of kick-in-the-head ferocity that American metalcore agitators like Throwdown, NDE, Himsa, Every Time I Die, and Brick Bath are known for. Nonetheless, one hears a sense of history in Sunrise's metalcore recordings of the 2000s; they haven't forgotten their past, and they still show an awareness of the hardcore that came before metalcore. Despite their sledgehammer approach and angry sound, Sunrise is not the sort of band that thrives on nihilism for the sake of nihilism. The Poles have espoused a straight-edge ideology and been outspoken against the use of drugs; many of their members have been vegetarians (if not total vegans), and they have articulated Hindu-influenced ideas. Their lyrics can be dark, but they haven't sent out a message of hopelessness.
Sunrise was formed in 1994, which was a time of transition for Poland and Eastern Europe in general. Poland, like other East European countries, had rid itself of communism several years earlier and was adjusting to a system of capitalism and free enterprise -- and in post-communist Poland, one of the results of having more freedom was a wide variety of music flourishing. That included punk and hardcore, which had been viewed as subversive and counterrevolutionary by Poland's old Soviet-style regime back in the '80s. After months of rehearsing, Sunrise played their first gig on New Year's Eve 1995-1996. The first thing they recorded was Fire Walk with Me, a five-song demo. Generation of Sleepwalkers, the band's first full-length album, was released on Sanctuary in 1998; that disc was followed by Child of Eternity on Sober Mind Recordings in 2000 and Still Walking with Fire on the Youth Culture label in 2002. In 2003, Sunrise signed with Germany's metal-friendly Lifeforce Records, which released Decontaminate (a split CD with the Belgian straight-edge band Liar) in 2003. Traces to Nowhere, Sunrise's first full-length album for Lifeforce, came out in 2004 (the year in which the band celebrated its tenth anniversary). Along the way, Sunrise has had its share of personnel changes. In 2004, the five-man lineup consisted of Pat on lead vocals, Daniel and Piotr on guitar, Adam on bass, and Arek on drums; like a lot of musicians who play in hardcore, metalcore, and punk bands, the members of Sunrise prefer to use only their first names professionally and have been reluctant to give their last names to the media. ~ Alex Henderson