It took exactly one album, their 2016 self-titled debut, for Sumerlands to faucet into the vein that made the heavy metallic hey-day so good and drain sufficient essence to fully recreate it. No starry-eyed homages right here, oh no; Sumerlands went straight to the supply and delivered a hearty spoonful of doom-infused good things.
Nearly six years on from that, we discover ourselves staring down the barrel of Sumerlands‘ second go at reaching that promised land, this time with new vocalist Brendan Radigan of Magic Circle and Stone Dagger filling the fairly giant footwear of the departing Swanson. So, what’s totally different? There’s a a lot much less doom-influenced sound right here in comparison with their earlier album, though it’s definitely current. That provides method to one thing edging slightly nearer to energy metallic which is just amplified by the ridiculously highly effective pipes of Radigan; his higher octaves are near horrifying at occasions. You solely want just a few seconds of the opening monitor “Twilight Points The Way,” with its galloping drumline and Hammerfall-meets-Black-Sabbath sensibilities to see the place the sound has begun to vary, however not let go of what it was constructed upon.
After that, the beefy hooks and ethereal vocals simply hold coming, laying out for show the clear influences Sumerlands have had right here; “Heavens Above” opens with a riff that sounds forty years out of time however in the very best means, earlier than title monitor “Dreamkiller” lays down a ferocious mix of charging drums and intense solos that channels Judas Priest all methods up. Hell, “Night Ride” may have been a Rainbow deep lower; softening the blows lengthy sufficient to offer a catchy little quantity that veers dangerously near a ballad however stops simply quick.
The doom metallic that Sumerlands‘ debut was woven from rears its head correct in “The Savior’s Lie”, a positively sludgy monitor in comparison with every little thing else on supply right here with distortion turned as much as max. The truth it follows on from the synth-laden AOR particular “Force of a Storm” is a slight tonal whiplash, to say the least, however on condition that there are nonetheless loads of flashes of that grunginess peppered all through it would not really feel too misplaced.
All in all, when you’re on the lookout for a dose of heavy metallic with expertise at each place, Sumerlands have gotten the job accomplished with Dreamkiller. Unflinchingly old-fashioned and full of killer riffs, you’d have a troublesome time selecting this out of a line-up of music from the precise time interval it is succeeding at emulating. If you were not a fan of the fashion earlier than, one other forty-ish minutes of it is not prone to swing you – even with the change in aesthetic of all of it – however the diehards are getting a meaty slab of their favourite deal with and anybody with a passing curiosity will discover one thing right here that will get their head nodding. It’s daring, huge enjoyable that begins a working streak of what’s hopefully way more to come back from Sumerlands sooner or later.