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Sicmonic - Somnambulist CD (album) cover

SOMNAMBULIST

Sicmonic

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.00 | 3 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Somnambulist is the second full-length studio album by American, Phoenix, Arizona based progressive metal act Sicmonic. The band released their debut full-length studio album Look to the Skies in August 2006. Look to the Skies was released independently and Somnambulist was meant to be released independently too. Aural Music signed Sicmonic before the band began distributing the only 1000 copies that were pressed of the original version, which should make the original version a pretty rare collectors item. The official Aural Music version of Somnambulist, which is the one Iīm in possession of, features new cover artwork and four additional bonus tracks taken from Look to the Skies.

The music on Somnambulist is a pretty eclectic mix of various metal/ rock genres. There are strong ties to progressive metal but genres like contemporary metal/ thrash/ death metal and progressive rock are also featured on the album. The songs are very diverse and most songs feature several different sections and styles. Lead vocalist Taylor Hession is a skilled vocalist. His clean singing is strong and emotional but he also handles death grunts and aggressive vocals in pretty good style ( a bit generic but allright). Iīm mostly fond of his clean singing though ( I really find his fast little vocal runs quite charming). Songs like Till The Morning Light, Illumination, Oxygen and especially the emotional ballad Requium feature examples of his great clean vocal performance on Somnambulist. The latter is without a doubt one of the strongest ballads Iīve heard in a while. A beautiful song that one.

In addition to bass, guitars and drums the album also features a couple of songs with the, for metal, rather unusual instrument: A violin. Guitarist Ray Goodwin plays the violin on a couple of tracks of which Just How Far Down Do You Want To Go? is the one where the violin is featured the most. The addition of the violin is a nice feature but itīs only a minor detail in the music and doesnīt mean much to the overall sound of the album. The music is very dynamic and features just about everything from subtle mellow parts to blast beat parts and everything in between. The album is a bit too long with its 74:46 minutes playing time, and while bonus tracks are always a nice feature, I think the album would have benefitted from being more compact. Two acts come to mind while listening to the album and thatīs Strapping Young Lad and Shaolin Death Squad. Not the worst acts to be compared to if you ask me.

The songs are pretty complex but only occasionally touch tech metal territory. The musicianship is excellent though and there are lots of exciting playing to feast upon. The focus is predominantly on the songs and not the playing though. The high level of musicianship is used to create clever compositions rather than showing off.

The production is professional and detailed. A modern metal production.

I had never heard about Sicmonic before listening to Somnambulist and I might have been reluctant to if I had read a review who mentioned the modern/ contemporary metal influences in the music. Itīs a matter of taste but I usually donīt appreciate genres like Deathcore, NU-metal and Metalcore which the music on Somnambulist share some similarities with. Somnambulist fortunately is so much more than that and if youīre looking for something that has equal amounts of aggressive, progressive and melodic elements Sicmonic pretty much got it nailed with Somnambulist. A 4 star rating is well deserved. An excellent release.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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