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Somniate – The Meyrinkian Slumber Award winner

Somniate
The Meyrinkian Slumber
by William Travers at 10 August 2020, 6:48 AM

Come one, come all Black Metal fans and feast your eyes upon SOMNIATE. This young 5-piece band from Czechia are here to offer their debut album for your aural pleasure. A concept album, “The Merynikian Slumber” follows the tale of a psychiatric patient trying to put his life and memories back together. As a listener you will follow his tale and path through the sophisticated and troubled mind as he travels through Prague’s old town and ominous ghettos.

The artwork is simple and effective. The SOMNIATE sigil adorns a black background with an individual hanging by his foot stares at you. Whilst it may not be a loud piece that jumps out at a viewer, it does have a haunting aura, perfect for the genre.

The journey begins with “The Sleepless Stone”. Which, builds over its initial two minutes introduction, the layers of music coming together until eventually the wall of sound hits. The intensity is palpable, as the confusion and anger that the protagonist must feel in his state comes to the fore. The haunting, crying vocals also add to project his desperation. As the track develops, there are obvious themes for each section of music which are to portray a different emotion or, in fact a different action as our man wanders the streets.

“Rephaim” appears to have its roots set in portraying the confusion and insanity of the patient as he is trying to pull the fragments of his memory back together. The depth of the music, the complexity and development add to this air, there is so much going on that the perfect atmosphere has been created. Slight lulls, you think it has finally calmed, but that was a false sense of security, expertly delivered.

As we reach “In Bone Incorruptible” we appear to have hit the point of anger. The overall pace of the music has increased, the emotion behind the vocals has gone up a notch and the overall atmosphere appears to have be centred around anger and despair. However, I guess a lot of the album is as I am getting that as a common theme between tracks. Again, we see at roughly the midpoint a slight break in the intensity and one could be forgiven for thinking that it was over, however this is a trick because almost as quickly as the intensity dies down, it is back, bigger and more overbearing than before.

We are now over the majority of our hero’s journey and “A Penitentiary Triptych” is our next destination. True to the title we can see three clear sections of the track. The initial introduction is soft, gentle and calm. Clean cut guitars allow us to relax before the onslaught of the main body, the high intensity and high-octane energy is back with a new found purpose. The brutal riffs and relentless blast beats that have become a main stay of the musicality of the record seem to have become larger than life and have this overarching effect that they will consume you. Toward the latter stages of the track we see a slight increase in the intensity once more. Whilst it is only slight, a sort of blink and you’ll miss it, it is still there and one can appreciate the third and final section as we are coming towards an unstoppable end.

Finally, we have reached the penultimate track. “Of Fragrance And Light” sees the album out with ominous opening tones, dense heavy riffage and a sheer uncompromising standard of musicianship that one has to respect for they have stuck true to their style throughout the record. As the intense wall of music continues to blast through the track it can only be said that I don’t think our hero found the answers he was looking for, nor did he find his peace.

Overall, I found this to be a fantastic album. The music and lyrical content played perfectly to the concept attempting to be portrayed. I could close my eyes and see myself wandering through a town (not Prague, however it would be difficult to visualise a town you have never been to!) devoid of all sense of direction and in a state of desperation. This album should be well received by fans of the genre and I can see success for this group should they continue to develop their sound. I look forward to seeing their next release, as for you reader, check out SOMNIATE and let me know what you think!

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship:9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Sleepless Stone
2. Rephaim
3. In Bone Incorruptible
4. A Penitentiary Triptych
5. Of Fragrance And Light
Lineup:
Zdeněk Klekner – Vocals
Marek Štembera – Guitars/Vocals
Aleš Vilingr – Guitars
Adam Kulich – Bass
Tomáš Mařík – Drums
Record Label: Lavadome Productions
     


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Edited 29 September 2020
 

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