Album Review: Sojourner – The Shadowed Road (Avantgarde Music/Fólkvangr Records)
Sojourner grabbed our attention with their debut release, Empires of Ash in 2016. A wonderful slice of atmospheric, folk-influenced black metal. We loved it & you can read our review here. On the 15th March 2018 their back with their new album, The Shadowed Road. It will be released by Avantgarde Music on CD and Vinyl and Fólkvangr Records on cassette.
The keyboard melody, flute playing, epic guitar solo & blackened metal of Winter’s Slumber is instant confirmation that Sojourner haven’t moved away from their core sound. It’s an opener that soars thanks to the majestic vocals, one blackened & gutteral, the other soft & sweet.
Once again Sojourner take the listener on a journey, one that feels ancient & well-worn but necessary. The folk elements & harsher metal sound is turned up for Titan, a contrast that works incredibly well. Ode to the Sovereign dabbles with power metal as the guitars wail like they’re being tortured and the melodic edge reaches a crescendo that has the strength to move you to tears.
By time the increased heaviness of An Oath Sworn in Sorrow and Our Bones Among the Ruins plays out the shocking realisation sinks in that The Shadowed Road is almost over!
Not that Sojourner do short songs as the penultimate track, Where Lost Hope Lies stops short of 10 minutes. One of the best things about this band is their ability to make 10 minutes feel like 5 & this track is no different. Pacey black metal offset by darker, guitar led tones, sorrowful folk melodies & harmonic vocals.
Another stunning effort from Sojourner ends on the title track, one final wonderous song filled with sweeping darkness & sombre tones. The journey is coming to an end & Sojourner want to make sure you remember it.
Sojourner – The Shadowed Road Full Track Listing:
1. Winter’s Slumber
3. Ode to the Sovereign
4. An Oath Sworn in Sorrow
5. Our Bones Among The Ruins
6. Where Lost Hope Lies
7. The Shadowed Road
You can order the album over on Sojourner’s Bandcamp here and stream the first single, Winter’s Slumber above. You can pick up the CD version via Avantgarde Music here & the cassette version via Fólkvangr Records here. Find out more/keep up to date with news on the band’s Facebook Page on Instagram. You can listen to Empires of Ash via Apple Music below.
Sojourner - The Shadowed Road (Avantgarde Music/Fólkvangr Records)
The Final Score - 9.5/10