Sojourner - Premonitions review




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Reviewer:
6.0

83 users:
7.86
Band: Sojourner
Album: Premonitions
Release date: May 2020


01. The Monolith
02. Eulogy For The Lost
03. The Apocalyptic Theatre
04. Talas
05. Fatal Frame
06. The Deluge
07. Atonement
08. The Event Horizon


Wherever this international sextet have been staying, one thing is certain: it isn't in the realm of clarity.

Snark aside, Sojourner are nowhere near offensively bad, nor do their compositions reek of amateurism; rather, the music on hand is a culmination of black metal's growing popularity and willingness to venture beyond the genre's initial core concepts -- for better or for worse. Featuring a dense, warm atmosphere lush with soothing guitar melodies and enveloping keyboard passages, Premonitions follows in its predecessors footsteps, simply compounding on the previously established formula and stretching it to its creative limits. It's painfully modern or beautifully removed from the confines of the second wave, depending on your perspective, though proponents of either side aren't bound to be impressed by something quite so daunting.

Throughout its nearly hour-long runtime, something that becomes immediately noticeable is its surface-level interest, in that most songs follow a monotonous beginning-middle-end structure filled with all the familiar bells and whistles: piano interlude, chugging support riffs harmonizing with repetitive mid-paced wailing leads, an all-encompassing keyboard backdrop, competing pseudo-operatic female vocals and run-of-the-mill mid-pitched male growls. The drum work is notably energetic and adapts well to the changes in pace and mood, however limited in range they are, but still deserves considerable praise in relation to the rest of the musicianship, as tightly executed as it may be. It's an incredibly user-friendly iceberg design of a release with plenty of demographic-bending appeal near the tip, but it likely won't resonate strongly with any one particular group beneath the surface, with exception to those looking to expand their collection of black metal bands whose incorporation of female vocals borders on significant.

Genre purists will despise this for its representation of the continued denigration of black metal's founding principles, while those merely reaching out to explore the scene's vast and continuously evolving soundscapes will be inundated with an overwhelming amount of generic subject material to latch on to, regardless of its clean and friendly approach. With such emphasis placed on creating this ethereal wall of sound by fusing each track with everything at their disposal, Sojourner miss the mark due to focus, or lack thereof, and in their failed attempt instead build a world likely too massive to enjoy for those on the prowl for readily accessible material despite its accessible packaging.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Production: 6


 



Written on 12.08.2020 by Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.


Comments

Comments: 9   Visited by: 60 users
12.08.2020 - 13:10
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
I applaud you for managing to write a Sojourner review without mentioning Summoning once.
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- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
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12.08.2020 - 15:35
kukac
I like them....
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12.08.2020 - 16:16
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by RaduP on 12.08.2020 at 13:10

I applaud you for managing to write a Sojourner review without mentioning Summoning once.

I took a gander at some reviews and comments and literally everybody drops the Summoning name like it's obligatory, so I specifically avoided doing so. Thanks for noticing 😌
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12.08.2020 - 16:16
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by kukac on 12.08.2020 at 15:35

I like them....

Do you love them though
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I have no memory of this place.
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12.08.2020 - 17:50
kukac
...my love is for darker things...
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12.08.2020 - 21:41
DonMoenning
Odd assessment. Pretty high quality album and praised mostly everywhere. I love it. I think there is just as much doom/death as there is atmoblack. Does a very nice job creating weighty songs with memorable melodies and a fantastic atmosphere. They haven't been "black metal" for some time, so weird to see your review framed around that sentiment.
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13.08.2020 - 00:33
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by DonMoenning on 12.08.2020 at 21:41

Odd assessment. Pretty high quality album and praised mostly everywhere. I love it. I think there is just as much doom/death as there is atmoblack. Does a very nice job creating weighty songs with memorable melodies and a fantastic atmosphere. They haven't been "black metal" for some time, so weird to see your review framed around that sentiment.

I'm aware my criticism will land me among the minority when it comes to my assessment but it's how I felt after listening to it three times. Not so bad I wouldn't listen to it again, but not good enough I'd spend my free time with it.

I can extend an olive branch for some doom influence, particularly in regards to the pacing and some of the lead guitar work, but not sure where any death metal comes in aside from the growls. I think labeling them as black metal-lite is more accurate.

As for memorable melodies and fantastic atmosphere, that's a hard disagree from me. The melodies came across as generic and repetitive, with the atmosphere laying a cheesy foundation. But I understand why it's lauded by some; it just failed to resonate with me on any of those levels.
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I have no memory of this place.
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14.08.2020 - 00:27
Dark Cornatus
Powerslave
It's definitely their weakest album, purely because of the lack of differentiation and diversity in the songs.
The Deluge was an amazing song, and i love it, but i failed to find another song i really enjoyed from the album after buying it. It's not bad by any means, just a little monotonous.
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17.08.2020 - 06:52
DonMoenning
Written by Troy Killjoy on 13.08.2020 at 00:33

Written by DonMoenning on 12.08.2020 at 21:41

Odd assessment. Pretty high quality album and praised mostly everywhere. I love it. I think there is just as much doom/death as there is atmoblack. Does a very nice job creating weighty songs with memorable melodies and a fantastic atmosphere. They haven't been "black metal" for some time, so weird to see your review framed around that sentiment.

I'm aware my criticism will land me among the minority when it comes to my assessment but it's how I felt after listening to it three times. Not so bad I wouldn't listen to it again, but not good enough I'd spend my free time with it.

I can extend an olive branch for some doom influence, particularly in regards to the pacing and some of the lead guitar work, but not sure where any death metal comes in aside from the growls. I think labeling them as black metal-lite is more accurate.

As for memorable melodies and fantastic atmosphere, that's a hard disagree from me. The melodies came across as generic and repetitive, with the atmosphere laying a cheesy foundation. But I understand why it's lauded by some; it just failed to resonate with me on any of those levels.


Fair enough. Music is subjective and I'm not saying you're wrong at all. I will say that my initial impression was similar, but I gave it 10+ spins and it really sank in once given proper time. Was a grower, for sure.
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