It is a critical time for our world as we battle the pandemic. While the situation looks generally grim, we ought to find the few silver linings to help us go on with our restricted lives. One thing for certain which makes us happy is that artists and bands are using the time to create and bring to us new content, specially music. We now more than ever realize the importance of musicians and artists as art is our only escape away from reality and a hope for the future.
As live shows around the world stand cancelled, artists have been focusing on writing new music. Hordes of new music has been pouring in from all across the world, more than ever before. As we talk of music from the world, there couldn’t be a better example than this band whose album I had the privilege of reviewing. Sojourner, a band comprising of members of multiple nationalities such as New Zealand, Sweden, Italy and Scotland are bringing in their world of shared dreams with ‘Premonitions’.
A fairly new name in the realms of the new wave of black metal, Sojourner are known for infusing folk and ‘epic’ influences into black metal. Though, I am not acquainted with their earlier works, from what I read, they are a renowned force amongst the new era black metal bands. Their sound could be best described as a conjugation of influences from across musical worlds yet very different from what conventional metal is supposed to sound.
It has been a while I have listened to something so dark, heavy and beautiful at the same time. As soon as the first notes of the album start playing, portals appear and open transporting us to the deepest of forests. Shrouds of darkness descend while the folk elements in the music induce an eerily uplifting effect throughout. Emilio Crespo’s soaring vocals ride side by side with ominous shrieks over pounding guitar riffs as they create an atmosphere laden with melancholy and darkness.
The guitar riffage throughout the record is pretty unconventional for black metal. Prominent influences of the power metal sound is seen. One could ride into battle alongside the menacing instrumentation while the voices would sing you to sleep. Such is the beauty of this album. The words — darkness, bleak, power and hope need to be used together to be able to truly represent what the music stands for.
Personally, this is not the type of music I go to when it comes to metal in general. However, with this one, I cannot seem to find anything which I do not like. The music successfully seems to have broken a barrier of notions in my head and instills in me a great appreciation and respect for their music. To me, that’s the biggest win and achievement for a band — the pure ability to be able to connect with the listener’s head and soul. For a sound truly stated as ‘Epic’, Sojourner, you have my utmost gratitude and respect! The album is out on May 8, 2020 via Napalm records.
‘Premonitions’ by Sojourner is beyond being just a black metal album. Melancholic and powerful, the sound evokes unfelt feelings and takes us on a journey through the paths of darkness towards hope.