Somniate – The Meyrinkian Slumber (Lavadome Productions)

Tuesday, 30th June 2020
Rating: 8/10

It’s nice when you get to the point with some smaller labels that you can have a sense of trust that something will be a strong release, even when it’s not necessarily your ‘go-to’ style. In this particular case, Lavadome Productions have had a quality over quantity vibe for the last few years with plenty of excellent releases in their track record, and Somniate is a new black metal act that works the esoteric atmosphere well with The Meyrinkian Slumber.

With a conceptual focus centered around The Golem, by Gustav Meyrink, The Meyrinkian Slumber nestles in with an atmospheric vibe that feels occasionally otherworldly and somewhat larger than life. This vibe is really the selling point of the whole thing from a personal standpoint. It’s eerie (check out “Rephaim” as a great reference point), and isn’t afraid to throw down some more furious as well as haunting moments. The band is wise not to entrust the drumming to an utter blastfest, instead keeping the mood of the track at the forefront. There are blasting moments, but even then they are not without their trippy melodies that have been laced into them. This parallels with the vocal performance, which expands upon the usual raspy black metal standard and incorporates a wider palette that includes some agonizing shouts and howls to give it a more ‘human’ feel, albeit one that is soaked with some horror. There’s also a noticeable bass presence (see “In Bone Incorruptable”) that adds to the tremolo melodies, and the overall production of the release gives that creepy yet necessary feeling without making it fall apart by keeping it too thin and unpolished.

The lurking and foreboding sound of The Meyrinkian Slumber is one that effectively captures an eerie sense of madness. An impressive debut that pulls off a snarling black metal approach that can snarl with fury, but has a knack for keeping enough melody and atmosphere there to really pull you in to their otherworldly tale.

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