For the trio from all over the States – from New Orleans to Portland, Oregon – this is already their second time playing together. After their first incarnation Maenad was dead, it took some time before the three found back together. Another difficulty was to find a center for the band, as they were all so far apart from each other. This problem was then solved by them renting a space in Los Angeles to write their new music and find a good formula for their sound.
One must admit, that it worked really well, as their self-titled full-length is definitely a strongly breathing and reeking “thing”, a multi-armed and -legged being that is here to demand our full attention so that we cannot but give in to its charm. You can envision the monster hunting you down and then slowly pushing its tentacles into your brain until you can do nothing but listen and listen and listen and….
When talking about good stoner metal bands one often comes across the fact that the good bands can create huge impacts by using little shifts. These can come via an instrument and a quick notch up or down the speed-o-meter or via a vocal melody. Some bands are unable to do one or the other, but Somnus Throne can do both equally good. Their vocalist and guitar player Evan is certainly a better one within the genre as he can use the full volume of his voice without losing breath so that in the end it all sounds nicely and has a flow that can carry the whole weight of a metal song on its back.
Nevertheless, the main focus of Somnus Throne is to write mind-altering riffs that will take total control of your vortex: Take the second real song (after the short intro) “Shadow Heathen” for example, a song that starts with a convincing riff line dominated by a strong drummer with the melody being like an irregular mantra giving the song just enough space to capture the audience before the riffing slows down after 3 ½ minutes and the guitars taking over the position and effect of the guitar. After a short return of the ritualistic vocals the song slowly zooms giving room for a great solo. The final two minutes that are a pure doom outro for the heavens (or heathens?).
Of course, this is all nothing new under the sun and certainly no re-invention / re-imagining of stoner metal, but there is a reason why Jurgen and Burning World Records took this threesome on months ago. It got potential, lots and loads of it. That’s why he wanted to publish this full-length debut all in Holland. And let’s be honest – has Jurgen ever disappointed?