Saturday, February 18, 2012

Summoner - (2012) Phoenix

For some of you, the name "Summoner" may not ring any bells, but for those in the know, you may already know the Boston based band has changed their name from "Riff Cannon" after releasing the highly regarded album "Mercury Mountain" back in 2009 under that moniker, they have returned with a new name, a new album and a new level of awesome.

"Phoenix" is the title given to the new album, and what an album it is! Full of all the cool stuff that made "Mercury Mountain" so popular amongst the underground devotees, the Sabbathian-esque riffs, the Iron Maidenish twin guitar attack, and lyrics that pummel your brain with visions of ancient spirits, mythological beasts and crashing seas.

The album starts out with the first few songs following the traditional stoner/doom approach, and shoves riff after riff down your ear canal, taking cues from other bands like Down, and the Sword without mimicking them so much that it loses its appeal, like so many other bands seem to do. The highlight of the album, to me is the fourth track, "Let the Light In" with its mellow psychedelic grandiosity, tempo changes and haunting vocal lines. It really lets your mind sink into the "Summoner" vibe and segues perfectly into the hypnotizing title track "Phoenix" setting the atmosphere for the second half of the album.

"Pheonix" really outshines the bands debut album, in production, musicianship and songwriting ability and should appeal to anyone that's into any of the bands mentioned above, as well as Colour Haze, Kyuss and just good music in general. The band plans to release the album digitally very soon on Bandcamp, as well as other such sites. Make sure you put your ear on this one folks, check em out on Facebook and ReverbNation, and rest assured, this will be one of the highlights of 2012.

~Adam Walsh

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