With their style and inspiration, Sumerian Tombs embody the modern aesthetic of epicness. The song titles are ostentatiously evil and the music exudes creepy vampiric themes. The intro ‘Enter The Netheralm’ slowly invades your mind with gothic piano notes and synth textures that provide a symphony for the night. ‘Bloodspells of The Ancient’ relies on subtle synths to create a cold ambiance. Offering something unique to the scope, the rhythm guitars, vocals and the pounding drums are fairly lofty and the guitar melodies stream through raging tempos. The whole theme of the album is centered on ancient Sumerian folklore and fictitious literature. These themes somehow make songs like ‘Light of Death’ very atmospheric. Sumerian Tombs implements its own methods and the composition is tinted in thick blood that rushes like a frantic heartbeat. The drums eschew unnecessary blast beats. The combination of the guitars and synth always creates a haunting backdrop to the music, allowing a deep sense of gloom.
Dark synth passages and heavy guitars take a leading role with the vocals adding a certain feel of chilliness that comes to full thrilling action on ‘Tomb Lurker’. The pace of the percussion interchanges between fast and the slow tempos, resulting in furious sections that are lifted by the lead guitars. It’s all about creativity here and each guitar segment is fittingly effective. The sleek interweaving of the rhythm and lead guitars is brilliantly attained. Albeit impressive the quintet shows their ability to bring the tempo to a furious pace and the guitar arrangements manage to create splendid details on each track.
A sense of mysticism is flawlessly demonstrated by the guitars and the drums. Exuding instant aggression the bass guitar and the drums are perfectly layered. The guitars create a pure sound of ancient Middle Eastern melodies. ‘Altars of the Past’ is one of the songs that unleashes scratching tremolos and the drums manage to keep their furious pace throughout fast and powerful tempos. The guitar tone is mesmerizingly filled with vibrating melodies. In fact, Sumerian Tombs has succeeded in bringing a lot of variety to the songs. The drums shift to prominent aggression with the flow of the storming guitar riffs stimulated by the excellent vocalization sounding evil and vehemently powerful.
The self-titled album has many distinctions, first would be the consistency of the songwriting that gives the music lot of variations. While the guitar melodies are rich, the synth gives a spooky feel without being too loud and overused. There’s an undeniable touch of mystique, Sumerian Tombs‘ musical passion emanating from the archaic Sumerian culture. This aspect is brought to full observation. The guitars continue to focus on these elements which bring quality and flair to the musical composition, although the music becomes somewhat more refined. ‘The Key – Bloodmeditation’ contains epic Mesopotamian tunes and the energetic vibes of the searing guitars are well crafted. The interaction between the drums bass and the melodic textures of the rhythm guitars often brings the tempo to perfection. The modern approach to songwriting lends a fitting quality to these Germans.
The final track ‘Vampyric Dominance’ offers a warm ambiance and the layered tremolos are one of the highlights of this track. Fast lead melodies are soaked in palpable synth textures. While the drums carry some furious blasting sections, the mid-tempo includes some clean, anthemic vocals, only to shift to another round of blast beats. Beyond the aspect of the conventional style of vampiric black metal Sumerian Tombs‘ self-titled album stands as a work of art whose aesthetic qualities like the driven guitars and the splendid synth patterns are mostly brought to full focus. Thus achieving an infectious, energetic vibe and strong musicianship across the duration of 42 minutes, the songs are likely to grasp the listener with atmospheric permutations.
- Music / Songwriting 9/10
- Vocals / Lyrics 9/10
- Mix / Production 8/10
- Artwork & Packaging 7/10
- Originality 8/10
With this album the German quartet has established themselves in the modern black metal scene of Europe. Therefore, I recommend this album to fans of Dark Fortress, Acherontas and Beltez.