Summoner - Phoenix (2012)


A four piece band by the name of Summoner has released their new album, entitled “Phoenix.” The band is from Boston, MA and lists themselves as a stoner rock band. The album is eight tracks long and contains heavily distorted chugging guitars and deep bass lines and intense drum rolls.

The album starts out with a groovy guitar riff in “The Interloper.” It’s upbeat bass lines and melodies will have you bobbing your head immediately. The vocals kick in with harsh yelling lyrics providing plenty of sludge tones. The chorus is simple and melodic planting its memorable sound in your head for days. A wicked guitar solo jumps in towards the end with high pitch notes that fly across your speakers with electrifying sounds. “Winged Hessians” picks up right after with similar guitar riffs and similar speed keeping you rocking out from song to song. The guitars continue to chug away blaring heavily distorted chords in your face while the vocals constantly throw violent lyrics at you. The guitar solos shine with gorgeous melodies that really draw you closer to the music. The song runs for a little over five minutes but for the amount of times that they play the same few riffs over and over again they could have easily shortened it to three minutes like the first track.

The air fills with dark swampy guitar riffs in “Conjuring” as the bass line gets right to work with catchy melodies that lead the way to the verse. A heavy snare guides you through the song along with shattering cymbals and booming kicks. The guitar riffs are catchy in between each verse leaving you rocking your head back and forth throughout the track. The vocals are solid but sound very similar to the tracks before this one. You may start to feel a bit bored by its delivery. “Let The Light In” slows things down with its soothing bass lines. The track runs for a little over nine minutes long but again, with all of the similar riffs that are repeated over and over, I don’t think it was necessary to keep the track running for that long. The vocals finally change up as they deliver a more softer tone of lyrics over the groovy bass line. The drum rolls are basic and help keep the verses running smoothly. The track definitely offers some emotional feelings with its light guitar riffs and mellow vocals. “Reclaimer” also contains soft vocals that have some interesting filters on them as the verses are belted out with catchy tones. The guitar riffs are a little more punishing as they blast away with heavy riffs full of mean distorted sounds.

The album ends with a seven and a half minute track, entitled “Dead Moon.” The beginning guitar riffs have somewhat of a southern twang to them as you’ll hear the same melody for the first full minute of the song. The verses start out with more light singing vocals that sound layered together. The verses become more aggressive later as the vocals switch back to their harsh yelling tones. The southern melodies continue to play throughout the track as the bass started to follow their every riff. The one thing that really steps up at the end of the album are the drum rolls. Each fill becomes longer and more detailed with every new riff. Toms and snares clash together forming a strong mix of rumbling bass waves that’ll knock you on your ass. Even though the tempo of the song is slow, the speed of some of the drum rolls are incredible quick and heavy. I wish they gave this kind of performance throughout the entire album. If there’s one song you should definitely hear on this album, it’s this one.

“Phoenix” has an average stoner metal sound to it that isn’t horrible but at the same time, doesn’t really stand out from other bands. A lot of their riffs end up being repeated over and over again with no room for creativity. The vocals are solid but could have definitely been turned up a little in some of the tracks. The recording quality is at a somewhat low end as you might have a difficult time hearing certain instruments at certain times and muffled distortion in certain areas that probably shouldn’t have had it. If you come across the album, fine, but don’t feel the need to go out of your way to hear it.

5/10

Official Site - http://www.summonerboston.com/phoenix.htm