Somnus - _Awakening the Crown_
(Root of All Evil, 1999)
by: Aaron McKay (
It may be a little old, but surely it is still consequential. Having got this not all that long ago, I wanted to be sure to have it reviewed to share with the CoC community not later than this issue. Great stuff to be uncovered on _Awakening the Crown_. No drab Satanic doldrums or trite black metal extracts, just heavily laden atmospheric enchantment a la trolls, wilderness and mystical dreams. Kind of refreshing. Reminds me somewhat of what little I know of the game Dungeons and Dragons. Song titles like "A Calling of Arms", "The Alchemist" and "Lair (of the Wendol)" may give you the same impression, too. Even before I got my hands on this, I had heard Somnus' "Season in the Abyss" tribute to Slayer on Dwell Records, _Gateway to Hell_. Soft keyboards occasionally haunt tracks on _Awakening the Crown_. Vocals are gruff and stressed, but clear and understandable. Interesting arrangements play a big role in Somnus' style and approach. Not that anyone has asked me, but if they did, I might be inclined to mention utilizing the bass a bit more could pound home the objective on some tracks. My personal favorite cut from _Awakening the Crown_ has to be "Beyond the Shores", a wonderful male/female voice volley at times making the song move swimmingly along with evanescent ease. Strong effort.
Contact: Somnus, P.O. Box 81379, Cleveland, Ohio 44181, USA
(article published 10/25/2000)
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