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Somnent : Sojourn (Re-issue)

Less than a year since the original release, Somnent's excellent debut full-length is now available as a jewelcase version with bonus track.

Well, it's really not such a long time since Somnent's full-length debut came out - December of last year, in fact - but GS Productions have seen fit to include it in their current schedule of worldwide re-releases. That schedule, it must be said, is both a welcome and a slightly confusing thing - I have no idea what's actually driving label supremo Vitaliy's selection of bands to pursue, but whatever the criteria involved are, it's resulted in a rather prolific and scattergun explosion of everything from long-lost '90s Russian Death/Doom bands like Deceptive, to contemporary US Stoner acts like Clouds Taste Satanic. In between, you can find such weird and wonderful oddities as Russian Gothic Doomsters Revelation, Czech Funeral project Mistress Of The Dead, atmospheric French band Grey November...often as individual album re-releases, but also quite frequently in some sort of parallel deluxe 'complete discography' edition.

Don't get me wrong - I think that, as a general concept, it's bloody brilliant that there's that kind of appetite to trawl back through both long-forgotten older bands and under-represented modern ones, and resurrect their (frequently unobtainable in original format) back catalogues. It's just that I don't have a complete handle on what's going on with the pace and variety of this recent outburst - or, sadly, the financial wherewithal to immediately grab everything that I like off the list!

'Sojourn' itself pretty much sums up that somewhat chaotic approach, for me. The original came out less than a year ago, in the form of a limited digi release which we reviewed in some detail. And, according to the GSP site, it's still available. But now there's also this later version, which comes as a standard jewelcase offering, with an additional bonus track, but otherwise giving exactly the same in the way of information, lyrics, art and photos, and retailing at exactly the same price. The extra track, 'Lamentation', is a nice addition, six minutes of largely clean-vocalled atmospheric misery that wouldn't sound amiss on a Clouds release. But...it's also not an essential worth the cost of repurchasing, if you've already paid for the original. And if you haven't, well, I can't really help you: you pays your money and you takes your choice, depending on whether the more aesthetically-pleasing and exclusive nature of the first-release digipak, or the extra run-time of this jewelcase edition and a dislike of booklet-style releases, is more of a personal preference.

I will, however, take this opportunity to remind you that you should seriously consider picking up a version of the album, whichever it may be: Somnent being one of my top tips for bands of the moment producing top-notch old-school-yet-contemporary melodic Death/Doom. So, if you haven't yet made an investment in their output, here's your second chance to see it in headlines...

Bottom line, though: I rather like digi formats, so I'm quite content with my original version. I don't know that this does enough goalpost-moving, at the end of the day, to make it an obviously superior version, so I guess I'd better stick with my original mark, and leave it up to potential new purchasers to make their own call over which is the 'better value' package. Personally, I doubt I could force a fag paper between them, decision-wise: so, well, get one. That's the important point - beyond that, I don't really care which version it actually is. And you could do a lot worse than keep an eye on GSP's Bandcamp/website to see what else is currently being dragged out of the shadows!

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Reviewer's rating: 8.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Sojourn
2. Deceit
3. The Furtive Longing
4. Unveild
5. Sojourn Part II
6. A Bitter Ending
7. Closure
8. Lamentation (Bonus)

Duration : Approx. 54 minutes

Visit the Somnent bandpage.

Reviewed on 2018-08-29 by Mike Liassides
Aesthetic Death
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