Chuck Schuldiner Project

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Sumokem - The Guardian Of Yosemite

I've known about Sumokem for a little bit now, merely because their guitarist once slept on my couch for a few nights while acting as a driver for Pallbearer. I've always been attracted to their unique sensibility - rather than aping the hometown heroes their unique brand of doom metal brings in touches of rock and roll and death metal that their esteemed peers wouldn't touch on. What Sumokem does with this absolutely stunning debut full length The Guardian Of Yosemite is drown us under potent riffs couched in top notch production, reminding the listener once again how great this genre can be.

It's easy to get lost in Sumokems trademark mesmerizing riffs. The sheer might and forward momentum that a song like War Pipe/Rite Of Calumet brings is stunning, almost reminiscent of Khemmis's flirtation with death and roll on their last record. Letting this record wash over you is a pleasure, even if Sumokem don't always play to their strengths. Frontman Jacob Sawrie has some killer clean vocals and I'd really love to hear him push those more. There is so much untapped potential here that I can't help but to become fascinated with. His potent remonstrations guide us through dark sonic landscapes towards ultimate triumph.

Chock to the brim with guitarmonies and an exciting sense of progression the long form tracks that define The Guardian Of Yosemite never get boring - even the solos remain fun and touch on the almost over the top nature of the band. Sumokem understand exactly what their fans want from a doom band and paint the picture well. Touching on all the tropes, executing perfectly and then bringing exciting new elements into the music it's hard to not fall victim to this bands nearly infinite appeal.

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