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Summoned, The: Sessions

For those who read my reviews on these pages might know that technical forms of metal are not really my thing. That said, I always give the music I review a chance before forming an opinion and so it is with the latest onslaught from the Boston based metal band The Summoned which formed in 2003. The band has escaped my previous knowledge so this is one of those new experiences for me.Sessions is the band's second disc, the first being If Only Minds Could Paint Pictures released in 2011. Love that title by the way. Before that in 2008 and 2009 the band released a couple of EPs. In the band are: Stephen Thompson (vocals) Shaun Murphy (guitar and vocals) Jarred Sullivan (guitar) Sam Hang (drums) This is a concept album about a man who awakens from a coma and is immediately transported to a psychiatric facility where he is subjected to various tests against his will. There he meets his doctor who tries to find out the answers to what is haunting his patient. An exploration of the mind/human condition for want of a better phrase.

Now, first things first, I did find the screaming/growling vocals to be a distraction to what is happening musically. I understand many metal heads love this vocal style but it is clearly not for me although I can take it in small doses, especially if its mixed with clean vocals like on "Fractal Patterns" which is quite an excellent track filled with technical riffs, intense mathcore like breaks and more refined guitar stylings that offer the listener a break from the full on intensity. Let's just say this music is not for the faint of heart. Many of these tracks seem to blend together with the heaviness almost like a blur but there are other moments which stand out like the technical clean guitar in the ultra-heavy "Primogenial Birth", the mellower guitar parts in the just as heavy "Faradic" and the fantastic instrumental breaks in "Recollection".

So, if you like extreme forms of metal I can't imagine why this album wouldn't be right up your alley. This is a very talented band, I just wish there was more clean singing to help ease the stress on my eardrums. Personally I would give this 3 stars but for metal extremists it's more like a 4. Hence my 3.5 rating.

Track Listing:
1. The Pendulum Swing
2. Faradic
3. Fractal Patterns
4. The Grave Mistake
5. Built of Glass
6. Vertiginous
7. Primogenial Birth
8. Recollection
9. Satori

Added: August 7th 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 1116
Language: english

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