Somniate – The Meyrinkian Slumber

The debut album from Czechia’s Somniate is a raw, yet melodic black metal effort tinged with doom elements. “The Meyrinkian Slumber” evokes similar sounds to that of Acherontas and a less classically tinged Ghostbath with the mix of furious, yet melodic guitar passages, shrouded vocals, and mixed in slower moments to ease things up a bit. The drumming tends to be very ‘clicky’ and a bit one sided in the mix, almost like it is shoved in the front with the guitars, but that seems to help shroud the vocals even more in their wailing. Tracks like the opening ‘Sleepless Stone’ really start things off with melodic guitar before exploding into the dark, yet furious tremolo picking and razor sharp riffs that overtake everything, from drums to vocals. The vocals are not the typical black metal shriek, they have more of the throatier bellow to them similar to Behemoth, but also feature the anguished scream that is more in line with Ghostbath, just not as whiny. These elements help step up Somniate’s sound that will make listeners feel they are not just ‘another black metal band.’

Structurally the album doesn’t stray too far from the first track’s sound, so the lack of variation between tracks as far as starting to hit fast, slowing down slightly, and then picking up again with melodic riffs with the vocals popping up here and there such as on ‘In Bone Incorruptible’ and ‘Of Fragrance and Light’ may seem repetitive. But especially the with heavier riff sections those who like groups such as Belphegor will really appreciate the churning mix of blackened death metal, though the vocals do take away from the heaviness at time with their howling. The better vocal work is heard on ‘A Penitentiary Triptych’ which features deeper, discernable bellows and even some melodic, catchy riffs near the middle of the track, showcasing some excellent head banging opportunity that doesn’t just feel like the drums are trying to beat one into submission. Near the end of the track they go into overdrive, but even this is more varied than what is heard on a lot of the earlier tracks and sheds some of the ‘click’ sound.

The only downside is that this album is just 5 tracks, so there isn’t too much to digest with the music. While many of the tracks are over five minutes, listeners may feel a little cheated that this is what they get from a ‘full length album.’ Still, Somniate use their sound to show the more mystical side of black metal themes without overdosing on symphonic or too much ambient noise.

“The Meryrinkian Slumber” hits hard with varied paces (just check out ‘Rephaim’ if one wants to sample only one track from the album). While the vocal production could have been pushed up more, perhaps the group did it on purpose to add at least one ambient element the music, even if it was unintentional. The quiet melody parts help break up the monotony of some of the riffs and drumming and add a new sense of foreboding; the band could have even added more moments like these to add more depth to the tracks. Those who enjoy black metal tinged with melodic guitar a sense of suicide such as a ‘cleaner’ sound from Xasthur or Leviathan will certainly enjoy this.

3 / 5 STARS 

Reviewer: Colin McNamara

Sep 19, 2020

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Somniate – The Meyrinkian Slumber

review Somniate - The Meyrinkian Slumber

1. The Sleepless Stone
2. Rephaim
3. In Bone Incorruptible
4. A Penitentiary Triptych
5. Of Fragrance And Light

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