Sumeru – Summon Destroyer (Album Review)

Sumeru, formed in 2009, are a spawn of the underground Sydney metal community. The band is made up of 5 members: Matt Power, Peter Burskey, Chris Wilson, Pat Taylor and Andres Hyde. Sumeru have cemented themselves as one of Australia’s top stoner/doom acts.

Sumeru has an impressive stage presence, they’ve shared with local legends and international bands, and they’re all out riff carnage that they deal out on each album. On their latest album, Summon Destroyer, they have changed their sound from stoner rockers to a darker and more abysmal sound.  Summon Destroyer was recorded by James Balderston at Ghostnote Studio, mixed by Lachlan Mitchell and mastered by Adam McElnea at Sonamax.

Starting with the opening track, Inanis Kultus, the atmospheric effect track sets the mood perfectly for the next song The Temple. The Temple is a very dark and gloomy track, dealing out an awesome crunchy riff. Within the first 2 minutes of The Temple, the intro builds a transcendent vibe with the soft and slow melody combined with the vocals, giving The Temple an eerie, Lovecraftian sound of doom and suspense. Continuing on the title track, Summon Destroyer, the pace of the album quickens, guided by the drumming at the beginning, creating a more upbeat and faster tempo. With the rock beat in command of this song and the catchy riff through out this song, it brings out Sumeru’s rock n roll influences and the best out of each musician.

Embrace the Cold, the third track on the album, follows suit of the last, a very catchy rock track, it definitely sets itself apart as one of the favourites on the album. While this whole album gives the sense of dark desolation, Embrace the Cold is an extremely groovy song and I mean that in the sense that it grabs my attention almost immediately with the galloping intro, the guitar mixed with the rock beat of the drums, the rumbling of the bass in the background, have an awesome effect together; almost like a wall of sound pressing you up against your seat. As the song continues it develops more techniques and changes from soft to heavy. All in all, Embrace the Cold is a fantastic song!

Kala Ratri, the 5th and a great instrumental track, Sumeru present their musical talents with the haunting echo throughout. The 1:15 song is a balance of soft melody and an almost sadness-inducing track.

It builds to the next ear-rattling song Durga! Durga! using that grove element again. It’s a change from the slower, crunching sound that they used in the previous songs. They use a few elements from Kala Ratri with the doom atmosphere, mixed with a harsh, fast beat of the drums, changing in parts. It definitely is another stand-out from their work in previous albums. All of the elements used in the previous tracks is continued into the following track Rivers of  Lethe, another fast-paced song, with gut-wrenching vocals, which is where Sumeru are redirecting their sound to darker proportions.

A New Ritual starts off differently with a soft and slow intro and the vocals the following suit. As A New Ritual hits the 2:45 mark, it changes with the crunch erupting with a rumbling quake of the bass, the crackling of the guitar and the thumping of the drums. With A New Ritual being a 9-minute song, Sumeru takes the chance to show off their transformation and to have free reign of the darker sound, throwing in crunching solos, flowing riffs and giving the whole song thicker sounds.

Sumeru has definitely made a statement with Summon Destroyer, showing us a darker side of their music from the get-go. The album is heard through a veil of doom from start to finish. With it’s almost Lovecraftian vibe, suspenseful lyrics and rock n roll attitude, it’s one of many great albums to finish the year on.

If you’re a fan of Beastwars, Crowbar or Down, you won’t want to skip a single song on this album.

Release Year: 2018
Label: Wormhole Death Records
Category: Album
Country: Australia

Reviewed by Matthew ‘Barnzelbub’ Barnes