Featuring elements of post-metal, doom/death, progressive metal and black metal, Somnus Aeternus provide an expansive 53 minutes of keyboard-enhanced doom for your delectation.
The vocals mainly flip between scathing screams and cavernous deathgrowls, both of which sound very-well performed. Cleans, (sometimes with a theatrical edge, providing an old-school feel when they appear), are also used on occasion.
The keyboards on this release add extra atmosphere and depth to the songs, but never in an ostentatious or overpowering way. I like how versatile they are too. Combined with the rest of the music, these songs have elements of old-school doom/death, melodic/atmospheric black metal and even touches of progressive 70s-styled metal.
With a good command of crushing atmosphere and bleak melodies, Somnus Aeternus easily draw the listener in and keep them there. The recording is clear and heavy, allowing the band to floor the listener with distorted, downbeat aggression, but flip the switch and become all mellow and light when they feel the urge.
This is a very well-shaped album, with a good sense of pacing and dynamics. The funeral dirges that the band create are peppered with other influences from various metal sub-genres, but everything fits together neatly. Whether the melodies speak of post-metal resplendence, doom/death’s winding misery or even progressive metal’s exploratory nature, the band are there constantly keeping things in check and ensuring that the music fits in with their stylistic vision.
This is very well-written and utterly absorbing. With good riffs, strong atmospheres and a sound that recalls both the best of the old-school and the new, Exulansis is a massive winner in my book.