The Summoned – Sessions (Review)

The SummonedThe Summoned are a US death metal band and this is their second album.

I love The Summoned’s past work, so now that we finally have a new album from them, it’s great to hear.

They seem to have spent the 6 years between releases productively, as Sessions sees the band developing their complicated, serrated sound even further than I could have hoped.

Sessions is a concept album that sees The Summoned further blurring the lines between death metal and modern technical metal. The tracks on this release are a red hot bundle of complex savagery, unleashed on the world with the passion and skill of people who have meticulously obsessed over every aspect of their music for years on end. Well, it’s paid off handsomely, and on their second album you can really feel the love, care, and attention that’s gone into shaping these songs.

Modern death metal, technical and progressive metal…these are simple genre tags that hide the convoluted routes that the music takes through the metal landscape. Tearing up rules and making their own as they go along is as natural as breathing for The Summoned. This is a band in the same class as bigger names like The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Faceless, Between the Buried and Me, Meshuggah, etc.

This new album twists and turns through extreme metal’s various paths, forever searching for a perfect fit, but never quite finding one. This constant exploration of all things extreme is great for the listener, as it means that the band are continually pushing themselves to produce better and better music.

Importantly though, for all of the controlled chaos and mayhem that makes up this album, it would all be a lot less engaging if it didn’t also have passion and heart. Sure, these qualities are buried under walls of guitar wizardry and imposing song structures, but they’re there nonetheless. Linked to this are the band’s advanced-level songwriting skills; these are displayed obviously for all to see. A lot of the material here is undeniably complex and technical for the sake of it, but it’s all crafted in such a way that this actually adds to the effectiveness of the songs, rather than be a distraction or detraction.

After such a long wait between albums, Sessions is no disappointment. Quite the reverse in fact; this is the best work they have yet done.

Any fan of modern extremity would be wise to get hold of this album.


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