The Shadowed Road is the sophomore release from New Zealand atmospheric black metal act Sojourner, out now on Avantgarde Music. Containing seven lengthy tracks, The Shadowed Road is rich in folky tones and plenty of symphonic elements, the harsh vocals of
Emilio Crespo doing battle with Chloe Bray's angelic crooning quite nicely, especially on the melodic "Winter's Slumber", which also sees some gorgeous piano & keyboards offsetting the thunderous guitar riffs. "Titan" hits hard with big riffs, growls, and pounding drums, but the tin whistle and acoustic guitar add that folk element so prevalent in the music of Sojourner. Once again, the dueling vocals provide a compelling yin & yang on the majestic "An Oath Sworn in Sorrow", while the blast beat driven "Our Bones Among the Ruins" sees the band driving closer to traditional black metal, but the backdrop of folk is always present. The final two songs approach epic length, the near 10-minute "Where Lost Hope Lies" and the potent title track, each one dense but full of many layers and textures, Bray's beautiful vocals floating over some bombastic arrangements while Crespo spews his hatred.
It can easily be said that The Shadowed Road is an album filled with many gorgeous moments, as the folk and prog elements are undeniable here, making it one of the more finely crafted black metal releases I've heard in some time. Well done guys!
1) Winter's Slumber 7:40
2) Titan 6:31
3) Ode to the Sovereign 7:15
4) An Oath Sworn in Sorrow 6:17
5) Our Bones Among the Ruins 5:21
6) Where Lost Hope Lies 9:53
7) The Shadowed Road 8:36