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Sumptus Ignis - Seasons Of Attrition Award winner

Sumptus Ignis
Seasons Of Attrition
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 19 February 2017, 2:32 AM

SUMPTUS IGNIS is a Progressive Metal duo from the Florida Keys, USA. “Seasons of Attrition” is their debut EP, and contains four tracks and a total running time of just under 30 minutes. Lyrically it is very dark, dealing with themes of silence, sorrow, emptiness, desperation, grief, oppression, insanity and woe, to name but a few. “Voices Of The Dead” is the first track. The combinations presented is this song are deep, thoughtful and unorthodox, everything I love about Progressive Music. Even for a genre known for having nearly endless boundaries, they push the envelope with about every emotion and different layer as you can imagine. There is muted, hushed overtones kind of hanging in the air that you can’t see, a spacy, retro quality at times, fierce Death vocals, and some well-structured melodies. What the listener might garner from this would be very individual.

“As Is” is shorter in length and somewhat heavier overall. The bass drum thuds make it sound like something in the hazy past but the chord progressions are very modern. The combination is indeed odd but pleasing at the same time. The guitar solo is a frenzied exercise in instrumental prowess. “Beyond The Blighted Shore” paints a pensive and bleak picture with soft guitar chords and lamenting vocals. You picture heading into your imminent doom which takes the shape of shrouded grey skies and evil red eyes that glow in the beyond. Doomy and downtrodden, it’s like BLACK SABBATH on Quaaludes. The bass guitar notes are particularly impactful here and provide much of the dark sound, while the spacy keys give it an outer-world sound. The result is that your mind cannot decide if this is grounded in reality or from another dimension completely. That, in and of itself, is quite a musical feat.

“December’s End” closes the EP. Think about what that title means in a literal sense. Late December marks the beginning of winter, and what follows is the bitter cold, howling winds and lack of daylight. The despondence is deafening but beautiful at the same time. As there can be beauty in frailty and beauty in blackness and solitude, so can there be in the sadness of music. The Death vocals add to the feeling that the end is just around the corner. Sometimes I am reminded of the great Italian Progressive Doom/Death band NOVEMBRE while listening to this track. The sterility of the fade-out at the end caps the sound of the album perfectly.

This was a difficult review in the sense that there was so much depth and personality that Josh and Bryn put into these compositions. If ever there was an album that bared more parts of the composers’ inner soul, I cannot readily think of one. The emotions are not static but rather complex and shifting throughout. Permeating the EP most is despondence and hopelessness, which make the moments of joy stand out even more. It is really unlike anything that I have heard before and the intrigue of wanting to hear it again peaks highly. If you are longing for a new sound, awaken your senses with “Seasons Of Attrition.”

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Voices Of The Dead
2. As Is
3. Beyond The Blighted Shore
4. December’s End
Lineup:
Josh Wojtaszek–Guitars,Bass,Keyboards,Backing Vocals
Bryn Schurman-Lead Vocals,Keyboards,Drums,Megatar
Jessica Sparks–Lead and Backing Vocals
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 22 November 2017
 

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