The Philly scene is an interesting one, all the more so because it seems to be so wonderfully diverse. Such is the case with Sumerlands, a band reminiscent of 80s NWOBHM stalwarts like Cirith Ungol. It's righteous, dorky and far too much fun. With their latest offering, these Relapse signees have put together something rather special with their debut full length. Sumerlands speaks to everything that people love about heavy metal. With powerful execution and a touch of heavy metal swagger it makes for some potent listening.
Despite the fact that Sumerlands has a tendency to be tropey the band delivers everything wonderfully and understands the spirit of the genre. It's the sort of thing where it becomes clear that the dudes in this band are all veterans of the scene, many who have literally dozens of releases under their belts. It hints at the true potential of Sumerlands - that they could go out and create a soundworld that is totally their own and has the potential to rock massive festival stages with powerful choruses and righteous solos. Sumerlands are sparky and fun, rock and roll for the next generation.
So yeah - Sumerlands is a fun listen. I'm not sure if I will be coming back to it a whole lot over the next few years but it stands as an exciting artistic statement. This is the kind of heavy metal that gets my hair to stand up and reminds me once again why I got involved with this horrific mess of a genre. Sumerlands understand that at the end of the day we are supposed to be having fun, and if you're not having a good time all the time then you might as well go home. This is rock and roll salvation, are you ready for it?
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