Reviewed: April 2018
Released: 2018, Avantgarde Music
Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
Reviewer: Bob Davidson
I listen to a lot of folk music. I listen to it literally every day. I also listen to a lot of metal. Also, literally every day. I don’t listen to a lot of folk metal, as I find it very difficult for the balance to be quite right. Kiwi outfit ‘Sojourner’ (describe themselves as “Atmospheric black metal”: spoiler, to my ears they’re absolutely not) was unknown to me before this album. After three years of being together, this is the second full length album, so far as I can tell.
There’s a lot of synth/keys in this album, and also a bit of tin whistle, which is nice. At first listen through I definitely thought it would be a builder of an album, but on second, third and more listens, I’m really not so sure. ‘Ode To The Sovereign’ is in an interesting 6/8 rhythm (as are a few other sections) and works quite well. The whole thing is well produced, but by and large I found it kinda dull.
For all of its good points, and there are some – rhythmically dynamic, textured, well executed – it does feel like you’re wading through porridge, in no particular direction. Think of Amorphis in their worst moments and you’re almost there. Is there potential? Absolutely, but I think we’ll need to wait for another album to really see it blossom.