Somnolent - _Renaissance Unraveling_
(Slow Burn Records / Solitude Productions, 2011)
by: Chaim Drishner (4 out of 10)
Did you ever have that annoying feeling of wanting an album to conclude and silence already, waiting impatiently for the CD to stop from playing, almost counting the moments? In my case, I couldn't simply push the stop button because I needed to write a review about Somnolent's sophomore album; an album that stretched the limits of my patience and tested my endurance.

It seems -- and that's only an educated guess -- that Somnolent has been trying its luck in several musical styles, striving to record a decent something in whatever sub-genre the band felt like playing that moment, failing bitterly, and then moving on to the next style, where the band thinks it would yield better results -- or so it hopes.

I've also heard the band's debut album, namely _Monochromes Philosophy_, was a monumental failure and an especially bad funeral doom album. Wait, what? Funeral doom? I'm only asking because _Renaissance Unraveling_, the band's 2011 sophomore release, being recorded only three years after the debut, is a complete and utter change of direction in style: the band plays now a mixed bag of sludge, post-rock, progressive hardcore, stoner and progressive metal, and yes, it is still rather bad.

Solidifying a tight style of music, having a clear identity and delivering a persuading sonic message that will leave no room for doubts, are the basics for any band. Songwriting skills and high standards of executing both the music and its accompanying lyrical metadata can only help.

Somnolent on the other hand has not decided what it wants to be when it grows up; the band shows no vision about its music, and this can only mean having no idea how to translate this lack of vision into a coherent aural message. The songs are tedious and uninteresting, having little variation, generating no excitement, offering almost no hooks, and are virtually devoid of any dynamics.

The band sounds as if it was awakened from its noon siesta, unwillingly, clumsily, wearily dragging itself to the recording studio and reluctantly, while still half-asleep, has recorded this bland, tiresome, clumsy little inconsequential album. An album that will leave no mark and will be forgotten even before its last sounds have faded out.


(article published 30/9/2011)

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