- Summon Destroyer
- Stoner Doom
- Sydney, Australia
- October 26, 2018
Sumeru are a Australian and they play some serious stoner metal with a lot of variety, It can be doomy, and it can also be progressive. The music, production and presentation is top notch. This tape is quite alluring thanks to the cover art by Paolo Girardi who I covered recently for his artwork on Abominate (2019) by Firespawn. I always enjoy being able to collect cassettes from good bands who also use good artists, hell it’s practically the premise for my collection. The band’s name is probably a reference to Mount Meru which “is considered to be the center of all the physical, metaphysical and spiritual universes”.
Huge vocal performance on this record that varies in grit, personally I prefer the moments when it leaned on black and death influences. The ability for the vocals to transition between different ideas really helps occupy the space of longer tracks, it doesn’t feel like a bunch of filler. Even when there are a lot of drum fills. I can hear a strong influence from Mastodon, Neurosis, Isis, Opeth and others. There’s high quality production value on Summon Destroyer that stands out for an independently recorded album.
The album gets heavy in parts but never too heavy, it doesn’t sit right on those death and black elements – It’s supposed to be doom after all and I think that’s what they embody the most. Death doom moments being a special treat. Otherwise generally expect melody, groove and moshing within the same track as the album covers a lot of ground. Even some speed metal with “Rivers Of Lethe”. I can easily see how Sumeru could be a lesser band and how there’s a lot of bands with a similar sound, but they put in the effort and experimentation to ensure they don’t sound too generic or drawn out.
The folky opening to the finale “A New Ritual” is instantly captivating in it’s tone, much like the hypnotizing Solitude by Candlemass, but with different energies coming in with the vocals. Almost Black Label Society vibes. The drumming comes in with great timing and impact. A great track to end on and it’s the longest on the whole album to boot.
My only real gripe is that the physical product has like a dark tint to the graphics so it’s hard to read the shell and other details in most lighting. A bit darker than I was expecting but still looks awesome. The quality of the product is high with no issues. The mentioning of black and death influences across the press might mislead some into false expectations, this is first and foremost stoner doom with the Aussie southern tinge. It just gets hotter than most.
Overall it’s a well rounded release with strong collection appeal with vinyl and cassette releases.