There are a few different ingredients that go into the Splendidula sound. Traditional doom metal is an obvious one. This provides for the creation of a firm underpinning bedrock for the songs to be created around, one which allows emotion and feeling to be included right from the start. Another ingredient is sludge metal, which is where a lot of the band’s heaviness and aggression comes from, not to mention some of the crushing riffs.
This is then built on with some post-metal influences, which expand the band’s sound and allow them to tread in places that traditional doom metal bands would not be able to. Psychedelic elements and touches of hard rock are then added in, providing extra texture and depth to the music.
The singer has a powerful voice, which is used to great effect across the album. Her performance is exemplary, and her voice demonstrates good range and plenty of compelling delivery. She’s backed up by the guitarist’s vocals here and there, which consist of either clean or harsh singing, depending on the needs of the song.
The band use all of the above to build atmosphere and mood very well, through a variety of mechanisms. The singer’s impressive voice is a big part of this, of course, but certainly not the only factor. Guitar leads are used in an stellar manner, and I particularly like how the keyboards/electronic effects are deployed. Splendidula certainly know how to build and layer their music and the songwriting on Somnus is first-class.
With lots of engaging, enjoyable content, more depth than is easy to appreciate until multiple spins have occurred, and plenty of instant appeal hooks, Somnus is a very strong release from Splendidula.
Very highly recommended.