Album review: Beyond the Realm of Light – Summoner



Summoner’s Beyond the Realm of Light is a huge slab of doom-trenched stoner metal. The riffs are chunkier than Brock Lesnar’s bicep, the production is thicker than your mother’s home-made beef stew, and if you enjoy Black Sabbath, Kyuss, Mastodon, Baroness and bands of this ilk then these guys will certainly appeal.

Beyond the Realm of Light races at you from the moment you hit the play button. New Sun is four minutes of galloping doom metal that sets the platform for what is to follow. It has a bit of an old-school heavy metal vibe to it, which is really nice. The second track, The Huntress, has a few more flourishes, some tasty leads, duelling guitars and a few progressive 70s rock influences. The title track is the standout; its spaced-out intro leads the song into another heavy slab of grooving riffs. Its pacing is much more to my liking. This is a slower track where everything seems to be given more space to breathe and is much the better for it. The vocals are excellent on this track, too.

Track 4, The Emptiness, has a more southern rock and roll flavour to it. There is a little bit of Thin Lizzy going on with the duelling guitars and It has a real anthemic feel to it. Skies of the Unknown is another of the longer tracks, again a slower building track. The intro to this song is superb, hugely melodic, but don’t get too comfortable, this song soon erupts into a Kyuss-like stoner anthem. The final track, Into Oblivion, closes the album as it started with some rollicking NWOBHM swagger.

At six songs and just over 34 minutes in length, Beyond the Realm of Light is a relatively quick listen. I think the band shines brightest on the title track, this slower track hit all the right notes for me, though I enjoyed the more up-tempo tunes as well. A little more variety wouldn’t have gone amiss, but overall this is a very solid album from Summoner.

Thanks to Magnetic Eye Records for a digital copy of this album. \,,/

Beyond the Realm of Light is available everywhere good music is sold.


Bio: Summoner

Boston, MA outfit SUMMONER will release its new album, Beyond the Realm of Light, on May 12. Recorded at Q Division Studios (Pixies, Converge), produced by the band and mastered by Dave Shirk (Mastodon, Pentagram), the LP fuses 70’s proto-metal, guitar rock and cosmic psych into a driving, six-song testament to the power of the riff.

Beyond the Realm of Light is the follow-up to SUMMONER’s 2013 full-length, Atlantian, hailed as, “heavy, psychedelic metal with a progressive edge.” Artwork for Beyond the Realm of Light was created by Samantha Muljat (Earth, Power Trip).  From astral voyages to pummeling dirges, the new album unfolds like a hero’s journey through Hades, alternating between moments of uproarious victory and desperate, crushing, hopelessness.

Featuring vocalist / bassist Chris Johnson (Doomriders, Deafheaven touring bassist), guitarist AJ Peters, drummer Scott Smith (Plagues) and guitarist Joe Richner (Plagues), SUMMONER formed in 2009 (as Riff Cannon). In the time since, the quartet has released two studio albums — 2012’s Phoenix and the aforementioned Atlantian — praised for their creative power and “riffs that Mastodon, Thin Lizzy, and Torche would be proud to call their own.”

The group’s live performances have been called “atmospheric and heavy, melodic and propulsive” and have seen SUMMONER perform alongside Cave-In, Worshipper, Converge, Magic Circle and more.  On the strength of their live set, SUMMONER has confirmed to play the 2017 Psycho Las Vegas Festival, set for August 18-20 at Sin City’s Hard Rock Hotel.

Baltimore’s Oliver Brewing Company will also release a limited edition “Beyond The Realm of Light” double IPA on May 13, in tribute to SUMMONER. The special beer is a 9% abv DIPA brewed with Australian and New Zealand hops to be released in 16oz cans and draft as part of the brewery’s “Long Live Rock and Roll” double IPA series, released in collaboration with the bands and record labels that soundtrack its brewing process. Previous artists featured include Mothership, Wounded Giant and The Well.


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