Thursday 6 January 2022

SOM - The Shape Of Everything (Album Review)

Release Date: January 21st 2022. Record Label: Pelagic Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

The Shape Of Everything - Tracklisting


2.Animals 04:30





7.Heart Attack

8.Son of Winter


Will Benoit – vocals, guitars

Justin Forrest – bass

Mike Repasch-Nieves – guitars

Joel M. Reynolds – guitars

Duncan Rich – drums


SOM are a band I haven’t really taken much notice of until I heard their excellent Awake EP and stunning rendition of Billie Eilish’s song Everything I Wanted. I know the band was made up of members of Post-Rock outfits such as Caspian. Junius and Constants which I’ve heard various releases over the years and enjoyed their creative output.

I was looking forward to their new album The Shape Of Everything to see if the SOM would deliver after their stunning work in 2021. This album is a heavy mix of Post-Rock, Post-Metal, Ambient Doom, Psych Rock and Modern Pop Sensibilities. This album is being touted as “Doom-POP” by some folks. A term I’ve used myself to describe bands such as FLOOR and TORCHE. 

However, SOM maybe the perfect representation of the “DOOM-POP” sound. As this album is full of wonderful pop hooks, heavy atmospheric riffs and a gloomy DOOM ROCK environment for SOM to paint their musical canvas upon. The album reminds myself of Deftones, HUM and TORCHE though SOM plays a slightly more Ambient and Alternative style of Rock/Metal.

Opening song - Moments - has that care-free Ambient/Post-Rock attitude whilst moving along to the heavy Doomed out grooves SOM have written for this track. The atmosphere is quite Psychedelic with Spaced Out sounds giving way to the lush and fantastical vocals that appear on the record. Slightly reminiscent of HUM’s 2020 comeback album INLET in places, SOM still play their own distinctive style of music that has a wonderful Shoegaze effect towards the later stages. 

Second song - Animals - opens with a more melancholic style of Post-Rock before the sludgy DOOM-POP riffs appear with the intelligent lyrics telling a well focused story.. The vocals are superb yet again with SOM merging different styles of music, voices and noise effects for one of the album's standout tracks. The haunting and groove-laden heavy guitars bring a cool burst of aggression towards the end of the song.

Third song - Center - is a rollercoaster of emotions with SOM laying it all out there for everyone to hear. Slow paced gloomy DOOM-POP riffs are dialed back for this song as SOM offer a more stripped back song where the vocals and lyrics deliver all the excitement you need for this part of the album. The instrumental work is a fine balance of Ambient Post-Rock and Aggressive Post-Metal for a constantly evolving style of music that could easily find an audience within the mainstream rock/metal world.

Fourth song - Shape - is another dazzling mix of different styles of music that brings a more “Alternative Rock” feel to the album. The music could be heavier but I enjoyed the different style of this song where the music is LOUDER but not as HEAVY compared to the other three songs. SOM brings a multi-layered approach to this song and for the rest of the album. Another one of the standout songs on the album.

The second half of the album sees SOM bring a more minimalist and world-weary approach with everything being quite heartfelt. Heavy guitars intertwined with everything that comes from the Post-Rock/Post-Metal worlds but with an underground Doom Rock flavour especially on songs such as: Clocks, Wrong and Son Of Winter.

The production duties are handled by SOM’s very own Will Benoit and he does a first-rate job here with The Shape Of Everything sounding superb from start to finish. Will does have a keen ear for “DOOM-esque” melodies and atmosphere whilst giving it a slight mainstream spin. 

The Shape Of Everything could end up being one of 2022’s most definitive and distinctive releases. This is an album packed with genuine heartfelt emotion and fantastic aggressive melodies that only SOM can deliver.

Simply unmissable and a must-have release.

Words by Steve Howe

The Shape Of Everything will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from Pelagic Records from January 21st 2022.