Somnolent - Renaissance Unraveling review



Reviewer:
6.0

4 users:
6.50
Band: Somnolent
Album: Renaissance Unraveling
Release date: March 2011


01. Exhale!
02. Emptiness Beyond The Horizon
03. Visible World Eraser
04. P.R.O.S.E. (Poem Risen On Somnolence Error)
05. Solipsistic Exfoliation
06. Chrysalis Verge (Part 1: Inside)
07. Chrysalis Verge (Part 2: Tearing Out)
08. Division Of Nihil


Somnolent seem to have a bit of a musical identity crisis going on. Apparently they started as a funeral doom band, released an album, then they altered their identity for this go around. Renaissance Unraveling is part prog, part post and part doom with some sludgy bits tossed in as well.

The problem is that while there are cool bits here and there, nice riffs, leads, or atmospheric sections, they aren't strung together in any meaningful sort of way and just sort of sporadically appear spread through-out the release. It feels disjointed. There just isn't any continuity.

The band spends a significant amount of time with mellow moments™ where sparse, clean guitar tones interact with interesting drumming and bass work. Normally such passages are things I applaud, providing a nice counter to intense music. It allows the listener to relax a moment and breath, and has the added boost of making the harsh music seem to pack an extra wallop when it slams back in.

However, they are too much, too many, and too often. Take "P.R.O.S.E." for example. For a minute it builds with meandering guitarwork, followed by some shouted vocals before at roughly the one minute mark the drums kick into a cool beat, the guitarist starts shredding a cool solo… things are happening! And then 17 seconds later it collapses straight back into the pointless meandering.

Perhaps one of the high points of the album is "Solipsistic Exfoliation" … it's got more of the mellow moments™ and meandering music going on, but is backed with an interesting theology/science spoken bit that provides intrigue.

The album does have its heavy moments, but I wish there were more of 'em and perhaps a little less "busy". It's like these guys went ADD nutty after the minimalist confines of their funeral doom past and tried to cram in as many ideas, concepts, bits, and pieces as they could.

As for the vocals… just lots of harsh shouting that seemed out of place at times, annoying at others. They really didn't do anything to enhance my listening experience.

It's got some cool ideas from time to time, but just not enough of them, coherently connected frequently enough to encourage future spins. Interest unraveling.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 7
Production: 7


 



Written on 05.05.2011 by BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.


Comments

Comments: 12   Visited by: 91 users
06.05.2011 - 00:22
ß
Problem?
Hmm I had no idea that they played sludge now a days. I quite like when they played Funeral Doom, I guess the change isn't that bad..
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My music blog - Updated regularly.
To live is to think - Cicero
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06.05.2011 - 00:22
Saeed_P
Great review.
complete and brief.:)
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06.05.2011 - 00:46
Abattoir
...and I was just about getting this stuff randomly, out of curiosity
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06.05.2011 - 00:58
BitterCOld
Gringo
Written by ß on 06.05.2011 at 00:22

Hmm I had no idea that they played sludge now a days. I quite like when they played Funeral Doom, I guess the change isn't that bad..


and it's very little on the sludge side. it's less a foreground influence at the moment.
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get the fuck off my lawn.
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06.05.2011 - 01:29
wormdrink414
Mellow moments must be a yogurt or a whisky. Either way, reminded me of Jamie Lee Curtis and I loled.
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06.05.2011 - 16:24
Rupert
Am I the only one here enjoying their myspace songs?
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07.05.2011 - 09:50
Merchant of Doom
You are right when you say that they cram too much stuff in the songs... and the "singing" gives me a headache every time! Some compositions are actually quite good, but there is no consistency... and titling one of the songs "Solipsistic Exfoliation"? Surely it's some kind of awkward translation from Russian?
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07.05.2011 - 11:22
K†ulu
Seeker of Truth
Holy Crap! Ukraine! How was their first album?
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Savor what you feel and what you see
Things that may not seem important now
But may be tomorrow

R.I.P. Chuck Schuldiner

Satan was a Backstreet Boy
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08.05.2011 - 00:48
Merchant of Doom
Written by K†ulu on 07.05.2011 at 11:22

Holy Crap! Ukraine! How was their first album?


bit of crappy "funeral doom", although I always thought it was death/doom...
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08.05.2011 - 18:36
Merchant of Doom
Listened their first album again... its' a mixture of funeral and death/doom...
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08.05.2011 - 19:04
BitterCOld
Gringo
Written by Merchant of Doom on 08.05.2011 at 18:36

Listened their first album again... its' a mixture of funeral and death/doom...


i'd never heard it, just did quick research and saw it labeled as such, as well as some scores which make this one generous.
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get the fuck off my lawn.
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09.05.2011 - 00:40
Merchant of Doom
Well, it''s a bit generic/boring... this album is a such a departure... I was shocked when I first heard it! They sound like a completely different band.
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