Sumerlands have returned from the astral plane with another powerful collection of timeless, hooked filled hits: Dreamkiller. In the driver’s seat is renowned producer and guitarist Arthur Rizk who polished these eight metallic gems at Philadelphia’s Redwood Studios with his brothers in Sumerlands. Coming off of recent production credits with Kreator, Soulfly, and Show Me The Body, Rizk needs no introduction. His past work and expertise behind the boards with Power Trip, Ghostemane, Code Orange’s Grammy nominated album, Forever, Sacred Reich and many others have blown minds for over a decade. But it’s Sumerlands that truly fulfills his dream of melancholic chug.
The Sabbath-inspired haze of their 2016 S/T debut has been turbocharged with bigger riffs, distinct, Jan Hammer worthy synths, and forays into Badlands gone doom. But although doom crackles at the edges of Dreamkiller, this is classic, melodic metal forged with the melodrama of the Scorpions, the emotional heft of Foreigner, with an extra dose of depression.
The album’s galloping lead single and title track “Dreamkiller”, available now, is an uptempo tour de force with an instrumental break and a festival-worthy chorus. Rizk elaborates: “The ‘Dreamkiller’ instrumental section was inspired by Elton John’s ‘Funeral For a Friend’ which has the most evil sounding Bach-like guitar harmonies. I was drawing from the epicness of that song, as well as Judas Priest’s ‘Stained Class’ and Billy Joel’s ‘Movin’ Out’ which to me all typify that big 70s sound.”
Make no mistake, Dreamkiller is full of traditional metal fuel. After an amicable split with original vocalist Phil Swanson, Sumerlands have dug deeper into their secret well of cathartic riffage to soundtrack a planet “Running in circles as the bells, they chime.” Sing along, dream along, Dreamkiller kills ‘em all!
Photo Courtesy: Jaclyn Woollard