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Sumerlands - Sumerlands review

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Band: Sumerlands
Album: Sumerlands
Release date: September 2016

01. The Seventh Seal
02. The Guardian
03. Timelash
04. Blind
05. Haunted Forever
06. Spiral Infinite
07. Lost My Mind
08. Sumerlands

This isn't tight jeans, big hair, "coke off a stripper's ass" heavy metal. But it'll blow your mind in the same way without you really realizing quite what's happening. No, this is "walk softly and carry a big stick" heavy metal.

Sumerlands' is a warm, gentle, dark sound. Dark, and heavy with a doomy mood. There's almost, almost, a retro fuzz in the air, coating the music in an imperceptibly thin layer of haze. Guitar solos are sensual, while the riffs are confidently, gently dominating. The record is wonderfully guitar-driven, though the drumming is a vital organ to this beast; never simply keeping time and always decorating the timeless tunes with luxuries we didn't know we needed but now cannot do without.

This debut features experienced personnel, with Arthur Rizk (Inquisition, Power Trip, Pissgrave) on guitars and Phil Swanson (formerly of Hour Of 13, Atlantean Kodex) on vocals. And what vocals: his dark, sometimes melancholy, sometimes classic Ozzy-inspired, mid-range voice adds the perfect narration to this enduring record. He is the final piece of the puzzle and a huge reason Sumerlands works so wholly and completely.

Sometimes with classic heavy metal, counter to popular theory, slow and steady wins the race. With so much well-crafted mid-tempo, you won't be jumping around bouncing off the walls to this traditional band, but you'll be nodding that head with such immense satisfaction and absolutely playing the record again. It's a short one and leaves you demanding more. Repeated listens reveal intricacies in the seemingly straightforward songwriting that one may not have taken in on the first pass.

Both the maturity and the timelessness of this record are difficult to fathom. If this was released 5 or 30 years ago it would kick just as much ass and be just as solid as it is this very day. It's vintage without the musty smell: this does not feel dated for a second, but neither is it merely an homage. The mature sound, astute songwriting, and worthy performances assure us of that.

Listen at Bandcamp

Written on 16.09.2016 by Susan appreciates quality metal regardless of sub-genre. Metal Storm Staff since 2006.

Twitter: @HeavyMetalSusan


Comments: 7   Visited by: 206 users
16.09.2016 - 20:29
Rating: 8
I love this vintage sound. I'm oficially hooked!
17.09.2016 - 18:32
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Sounds good gonna check this out
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
18.09.2016 - 20:09
Cyborg Raptor
Been delving into 80's retro synthwave lately... Could use some of that good old retro metal as well. Gonna put this on my list of albums to check out.
pewpew.. gotcha
21.09.2016 - 06:06

Ozzy's back!
21.09.2016 - 20:42

Gonna check it out.
29.09.2016 - 16:03
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Tagging problem with Hour Of 13 I see.
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

29.09.2016 - 18:38
Rating: 8
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 29.09.2016 at 16:03

Tagging problem with Hour Of 13 I see.

Thank you!!
"A life all mine
Is what I choose
At the end of my days"
--The Gathering "A Life All Mine" from Souvenirs

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