Sojourner
Perennial


3.4
great

Review

by Dewinged STAFF
June 10th, 2021 | 24 replies


Release Date: 06/04/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Full circle and a glimpse into the future.

Scattered around the globe, Sojourner have managed, in six years of existence and with three albums on their back, to build a solid fanbase, becoming one of the best kept treasures of the atmospheric black metal realm. The band's evolution has been notable and intense. From their orthodox black metal beginnings in 2016's Empires of Ash they reached last year's Premonitions, an album where they sailed towards gothic and epic metal waters leaving their most aggressive black metal roots on the shoreline, a change of course that not even the band seem to be fully satisfied with.

Like every other band on the planet, touring dreams vanished in the haze and the folks at Sojourner had time to go through some self-reflection after a time that main composer and axe man Mike Lamb described on a recent video uploaded in their social media as a "difficult time for every member of the band." This process had some sad but unavoidable outcomes: Long time member Chloe Bray left the band followed by the band’s bass player, Mike Wilson. On the other side of the spectrum, the remaining members, growl master Emilio Crespo, Lamb, and drum maestro Riccardo Floridia, had time to look back to the band's roots, which seemed to be the key to close this first period of Sojourner while materializing this new EP. Aptly titled Perennial, this new recording also serves as an introduction to the band's newest members, vocalist Lucia Amelia Emmanueli, and guitar player and also divo Tom O'Dell, as well as the confirmation of Scotty Lodge, who joins the band permanently on the four strings after a long time playing live with them, sometimes as a third guitar player.

Perennial is a short, very short EP. Two tracks are included on the band’s most recent work, with one of them being a rehash of “Heritage of the Natural Realm”, the second track of their debut. On the other hand, it’s more than enough to paint a very clear picture of what you can expect from Sojourner in the future. The title track opens with whimsical piano notes and alluring flutes before getting into business, with Crespo's growls commanding a crushing riff and giving way to Lucia's vocals, which hover gracefully over a furious blast beat. Here come the first impressions: Lucia, and for the sake of easy comparisons, is technically a better singer than Chloe, and I would like to stress on "technically", since, as the track shows in the second half, she has much more control over her voice, more power and range, and is capable of jumping from a melodramatic performance to screaming emotions leaving technique aside, which is something I personally love. Chloe, on the other hand, albeit being a great singer, especially on Premonitions where she showed how far she had progressed from their first album, had this slightly imperfect texture that, in my opinion, made Sojourner somewhat distinct and special. The second half of the song shows the potential of this new Sojourner, as Lucia introduces an absolutely killer riff courtesy of Mr. Lamb and a great finale driven by some communal vocals that really caught me by surprise, and that I hope the band exploits in future endeavors.

The second track, "Relics of the Natural Realm", and stated above, links beautifully with the second track of the band's debut. Longtime fans will quickly recognize those first piano notes and that flute melody, which used to be instrumental, but now they serve as a base to showcase, not only Lucia's fantastic singing, but also new recruit, Tom O'Dell's silky vocals, a combination that gives Sojourner a dimension they didn't have until now, and that certainly shows promise if used wisely.

With this new EP, the band from... everywhere, writes off an epitaph as well as a new chapter of their career. If you’d ask me, I'm sad that songs like "The Deluge" from their last full length, which is probably my favorite Sojourner song and one of my most played tracks last year, belongs now to the band's past, but it's also interesting to see how they are going to adapt some of this old material to the new formation. It’s time for Sojourner to go past the moss-covered ruined palace that adorns the cover created by artist and friend of the band, Jordan Grimmer, (for the second time now, don't think I didn't notice), and go further exploring new lands. Whatever they find, I’ll be here to hear the tale.




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user ratings (15)
3
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
June 10th 2021


24533 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

Slowly crawling into the review game again. It's too bad no one reviewed their last album last year, so I may get on that one too.



Bandcamp: https://sojournermetal.bandcamp.com/track/perennial

Digging: Kultivator - Barndomens Stigar

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
June 10th 2021


14285 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Time to get the ol' 3/5 out.

Digging: Diskord - Degenerations

DivergentThinking
Contributing Reviewer
June 10th 2021


9983 Comments


I thought I was going crazy when I saw that album cover until I realized it was the exact same artwork as the debut, lol

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
June 10th 2021


24533 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

It's the same place but slightly altered.



The symbolism, man!

Pikazilla
June 10th 2021


17030 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

per anal

Muzz79
June 10th 2021


657 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The new female singer's solo over the piano in Perennial 's bridge is real nice.

Agreed Premonitions does need a review!



Digging: Esoctrilihum - Dy'th Requiem for the Serpent Telepath

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
June 10th 2021


24533 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

@Pika reported



Agree Muzz, honestly the new track wasn't doing much for me, even her voice over the blast beat feels a bit disjointed but the second half is really good. It'll be interesting to see what they can do if they go down that vein.

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
June 10th 2021


16188 Comments


I'm not an enthusiast of their latest release but I might give this a spin.

Digging: Helloween - Helloween

Elynna
June 10th 2021


908 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It pleases me that the pretty castle has returned. EP is just fine, nothing overtly special

Digging: Staran - Staran

SuzyC
June 10th 2021


150 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good stuff and Lucia will probably prove to be a key asset, but I hope they retain the sweeping epic qualities of their second album. I know I'll miss Chloe. She may not have been the greatest singer on a technical level, but she often brought an emotive intimacy to their music.

Digging: Powder! Go Away - jol

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
June 10th 2021


24533 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

I won't get tired of saying it. The Deluge is peak Sojourner for me, and it is because of that Chloe chorus.

PortalofPerfection
June 10th 2021


2479 Comments


This band fell off hard.

Digging: Elderwind - Fires

garas
Contributing Reviewer
June 10th 2021


6089 Comments


The ultimate 2.5 atmoblack band. Sweet review, but I'm not sure if I want to hear it, though. (Esp. after an Elynna 2.5)

Digging: Tenhi - Kauan

alamo
June 10th 2021


3998 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

now i want a black metal album called Penial



i'm curious about how similar the cover is to their debut though its a different painting

Pikazilla
June 10th 2021


17030 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

everyone itt should listen to caladan brood

Hawks
June 10th 2021


74666 Comments


Permennial

And yes Caladan Brood slayz.

Digging: ...and Oceans - Cosmic World Mother

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
June 10th 2021


24533 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

"i'm curious about how similar the cover is to their debut though its a different painting"



You can see them side to side on the top of the page.



"The ultimate 2.5 atmoblack band" They are more the ultimate 3.5 for me but I admit is a guilty pleasure kind of affair.





Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
June 10th 2021


24533 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

Missed a chance to Sojourmen, dear Hawks.

Muzz79
June 10th 2021


657 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Caladan Brood >> but diff animal really. This one’s fluffier

Sevengill
June 11th 2021


10189 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review! I've been friends and labelmates with these guys for years now so it's awesome to see them continuing to rise. I miss Chloe's voice but this points to interesting new directions for the Sojo boys, and Tom (of Dwarrowdelf) is a great pickup.



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