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Review: Sumerlands - Sumerlands

Label: Relapse Records
Year released: 2016
Duration: 32:03
Tracks: 8
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: October 22, 2016
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating

Rated 3.82/5 (76.47%) (34 Votes)

Well, this is a surprise. Sumerlands is a new band out of Philadelphia, featuring some veterans like Eternal Champion's Arthur Rizk on guitars and the ubiquitous Phil Swanson on vocals. When I first got this I had very little info about the band, so I have to say I did not even realize this was Swanson until I saw a lineup listing. Usually Phil records himself very flat and dry, without reverb or backing tracks, and so this sounds very different. I have to say, that allowing himself some of the usual recording tricks does wonders, and this is the best I have heard him sound.

Musically this is a nice blend of US-Metal with a NWOBHM approach to the riffs and especially the solos. I found myself reminded of other fine acts like Onward, Pharaoh, or Fool's Game by the dense, often complex yet hooky songwriting. This is just a winner all the way through, with excellent riffs, solid songwriting, and a classic metal feel that is hard to put my finger on, but remains there. This is new music that can make you nostalgic for the old days.

Other related information on the site
Review: Sumerlands (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Sumerlands (reviewed by Omni)
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