Wednesday 6 January 2021

Splendidula - SOMNUS (Album Review)

Release date: January 29th 2020. Label: Argonauta Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Somnus – Tracklisting

6.When God Comes Down


David Vandegoor - Guitars
Kristien Cools - Vocals
Joachim Taminau - Drums
Pieter Houben - Guitars/Vocals
Peter Chromiak - Bass


Somnus is the 3rd album from Belgian Doom/Post-Metallers Spendidula. The band have adapted a more Progressive Post-Metal sound compared to their 2018 spellbinding effort – Post Mortem. They’ve also aligned themselves to one of the best record labels in the Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal underground with Argonauta Records.

Somnus is a very collaborative effort between all band members with the music centred around the gloomy and emotionally charged lead vocals from Kristien. The music moves effortlessly between Post-Rock, Post-Metal, Doom Metal and Atmospheric Sludge with the lyrics bridging the gap and holding everything together.

Opening song – Somnia – has a Post-Modern feel and flow to it all especially with the heavy grooves. The vocals have a classical element to them and you end up with a truly cinematic style of music. Though are some fantastic harsh growls from Pieter who brings a more menacing “Doom Metal” persona to the album. The music drifts from emotionally charged Doom Metal sounds to a more Ice-Cold style of Post-Rock/Post-Metal which slows the atmosphere down and leaves you gasping for breath.

Second song – Void – is a clever mix of Industrial Metal or digitized sounds merged with Splendidula normal style of music. Peiter’s vocals remain in the “Extreme ” category whilst Kristien brings a more theatrical style of vocals that suit each other superbly well. The music is perhaps the main highlight especially when Splendidula firmly remain in the Sludge/Post-Metal camp. This is still a wonderfully challenging song to lose yourself in and shows all of the songs are quite different to each other.

The album allows Splendidula to move forward onto their next wild creative idea whilst remaining true to the ideals of Doom, Sludge and Post-Metal. Just expect some different themes and sounds along the way.

The standout songs on the record to checkout are: Incubus, Drocht and When God Comes Down. As these tracks are more fully realized and fleshed out compared to the other songs on the album. Though, there isn’t a bad track at all on this album. These songs I felt more emotionally connected to and the band perhaps play some of the heaviest riffs on these songs with Incubus and When God Comes Down being personal favourites of mine.

Somnus is an epic sounding album that’s backed up by first-rate production from start to finish.

If you’re looking for a wildly different Doom/Sludge/Post-Metal band to fully experience and perhaps embrace during the Winter Season more then Somnus is the answer.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Mona at All Noir PR for the promo. Somnus will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl on January 29, 2021 through Argonauta Records,