Sumerlands, the heavy metal band from Philadelphia, released their sophomore album “Dreamkiller” six years after their self-titled debut. The band has undergone some changes since their first release, with Brendan Radigan (Pagan Altar and Magic Circle) taking over vocal duties from Phil Swanson and Arthur Rizk continuing as the main songwriter and producer. “Dreamkiller” presents a nostalgically fresh take on the classic 80s heavy metal sound, incorporating elements of AOR, glam and US power metal, with a heavy reliance on catchy melodies and synths.
The guitar work is top-notch, with fantastic melodies and solos, and the use of keyboards adds to the nostalgia factor. The rhythm section, consisting of Justin DeTore on drums and Stuart Laurence on bass, provides a solid foundation for the rest of the band to build upon. Brendan’s vocals are slightly more melodic than Swanson’s, but he fits perfectly into the band’s sound and style. The songwriting is really strong, with catchy melodies and large choruses reminiscent of heavy metal anthems from the 1980s coupled with an nostalgic atmosphere. As for the production, I’d prefer it to be beefier in general. The final outcome is satisfactory, but the mastering could have been better, in my opinion.
“Dreamkiller” is a well-crafted album on the whole. The band is honoring their heavy metal roots in the most captivating way, as their nostalgically fresh take on classic metal is sure to appeal to both old and new fans of the genre. Closing, In conclusion, I highly recommend “Dreamkiller” to all heavy metal aficionados.