Another 80s retro heavy metal band has joined the metal music scene. SUMERLANDS is a band that is led by the –underground– producer Arthur Rizk (INQUISITION, POWER TRIP, ETERNAL CHAMPION) who also plays guitar in here and singer Phil Swanson (HOUR OF 13, BRITON RITES and more), both big fans of the American classic heavy metal.
The music and vocals in this homonymous debut of SUMERLANDS resemble the style of OZZY OSBOURNE’s ‘83 –’87 era, back when American guitarist Jake E. Lee was in Ozzy’s band. Also, an older or ‘well-read’ listener can hear some bits of MANILLA ROAD, 80s SAVATAGE and even VAN HALEN (the opening riff of “The Seventh Seal” sounds a lot like the main riff in “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love”) but it’s all seamlessly incorporated into a sound that is fresh and better produced.
“SUMERLANDS copy OZZY OSBOURNE. “Do we need them?” someone might ask. Well, that depends…”
The record’s length is only thirty-two minutes and it features seven straightforward heavy metal songs plus an instrumental outro. Although, it is a satisfying album at its start, it does get monotonous soon enough, since every track is of the same style. If I had to choose one song that could be released as a single, that would be “The Guardian”, a song that if it was released thirty years ago by OZZY or DIO, it would have been a classic by now.
In the past ten years there have been many bands who tried to revive the 80s heavy metal music. Even this trend of new retro-sounding bands is retro by now! IN SOLITUDE copied MERCYFUL FATE, ENFORCER copy early IRON MAIDEN, BELOW copies CANDLEMASS, to name a few, and now we have SUMERLANDS copying OZZY OSBOURNE. “Do we need them?” someone might ask. Well, that depends on if you are a fan of the 80s legendary bands. If you are, then it is difficult to resist tasting the “rememberries” (South Park ®) that these younger bands offer. If you are not then neither this nor any other copycat band, will make you feel that nostalgia that makes these bands irresistible to the retrophile fans.