Much to my surprise, new traditional metal band Sumerlands calls nearby, an hour or so drive East, Philadelphia their home base. It's always good thing to promote Pennsylvania talent to the world. Formed only a few years ago, some may recognize, from the American metal underground, two players in the band: Atlantean Kodex vocalist Phil Swanson and guitarist producer Arthur Rizk from Power Trip and Eternal Champion. For this recording the band included Justin De Tore on drums and John Powers on guitar, with Brad Raub (War Hungry) joining later on bass.
As I write this today is not Thursday, but Sumerlands is definitely a "throwback" to earlier metal era, like early Eighties American power metal. The remind me of a mixture Cirith Ungol and Manilla Road, then with a dash of Candlemass and a firm nod to the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Their sound is large on twin guitar harmony which gives Sumerlands a dense, even epic, atmosphere. The pace can brisk and chugging like a freight train from the dense rhythm section reinforcing the bracing riffs. Swanson's vocals hold steady over the music, yet lilting and clearly withdrawn in the mix. Rizk, who also produced, rips off some soaring solos, often a quick as the songs pacing. But, ultimately, it's that combination of twin riffage and charging rhythm section that set tone of the Sumerlands sound. Excepting the closing instrumental, the haunting Sumerlands, from the start every song is full throttle American power metal. My picks: The Guardian, Timelash, and Spiral Infinite. If you like any of the bands mentioned above, I think you will enjoy Sumerlands and their debut album. Recommended.
Sumerlands rises from the underground to revisit classic American melodic power metal in it's finest form: full-throttle with large twin guitar riffage, a rumbling rhythm section, and blazing solos.
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