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Semlah : Semlah

It seems now confirmed that 2009 will be an highlight year when it comes to Epic Doom. After the masterpieces released by both Candlemass and Forsaken, and the great albums by Isole and Procession, we have now the first full length by the swedish band Semlah. Tommy Wilbur, of Count Raven fame, play in this new band, but don’t expect the same Black Sabbath worship his other band was doing. Here, you’re into the purest swedish Epic Doom one could find.

Those of you that were mourning the deaths of Memento Mori or Averon, rejoice!! For Semlah bring back those great Heavy Metal inspired songs, these massive yet melodic guitars, these awesome vocals, this sadness and melancholy made into music, but with a lot better songwriting that the two aforementionned bands put together. If I could put another band to which Semlah could musically be related, it would be Memory Garden. And yet, despite this, Semlah has its own, and very strong, identity. Of all the songs presented here, none is a copy of any other band. Rarely have I heard a debut album that could immediately bring to mind its influences, while being different in itself.

Ideas, ideas everywhere!! From the excellent accoustic parts of 'Perennial Movement II' and '...III' to the awesome choruses of 'My Spirits Fail' and 'Path Of The Waning Moon' (and its Tony Martin-era Black Sabbath melodic lines) and the crushing riffs of 'Axioms Of Life' and 'Machination', the album is litteraly oozing great Doom. This is music destined to bang your head to, music that make mountains crumble and create waves to crush the cliffs. This is the Riff Manifesto, the litteral definition of Epic Power Doom. And this is just their first album. Imagine that they can just go better in the future.

Note this in your book: in 2009, there was 'Death Magic Doom', 'After The Fall' and 'Semlah'. Missing this album would certainly be a sin against all that is Doom.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. From The Seat Of False Judgement
2. Path Of The Waning Moon
3. Axioms Of Life
4. Perennial Movement III
5. Machination
6. Manifestations Obscure
7. Perennial Movement II
8. Frayed Wings
9. Beyond Salvation
10. My Spirits Fail
11. Havoc

Duration : Approx. 60 minutes.

Visit the Semlah bandpage.

Reviewed on 10-07-2009 by Laurent Lignon
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