May 252020


(Seattle-based NCS contributor Gonzo has provided the following review of the new album by the multi-national band Sojourner, which is out now on Napalm Records.)

In all its forms and mutations, you could use a lot of adjectives to describe metal: Brutal. Powerful. Aggressive. Loud. Dynamic. Technical. And dare I say: Beautiful?

Some bands dabble in a “pretty” side at times, and it might work for them as a temporary gimmick or when forcing it into the occasional power ballad. But avid listeners are gonna know when you’re phoning it in, and as a result, the “beautiful” side gets buried under layers of the aforementioned adjectives. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with sheer, unabashed brutality (we ARE metalheads, for fuck’s sake), bands that succeed in combining the beautiful with the brutal can wield an almost overwhelming amount of power when they use it to write songs.

This brings us to Sojourner, a six-piece multi-national atmospheric black metal band, and their monumental new album Premonitions. Continue reading »

Mar 292018


(The multinational band Sojourner released their second album earlier this month through Avantgarde Music, and in this post our Norway-based contributor Karina Noctum provides thoughts about the music and also elicitsthoughts from vocalist Emilio Crespo about his approach to the crafting of Sojourner’s lyrics. You’ll have a chance to listen to the music as well.)


I don’t remember precisely how I found Sojourner, but what I do remember is that the cover of the first album dragged me to them first. When I saw it, I thought it had to be some sort of atmospheric band and I had to check it out. Yes it was, and a very impressive one. The best atmospheric music (for me) is created by a combination of all the musical instruments and the vocals, layered in such a way as to create the effect, rather than elevating one layer “above” it all — such as something ambient thrown in for good measure — which feels disconnected from everything else.

That discovery of Sojourner was in 2016 when they released Empires of Ash, but now they have released a new album, The Shadowed Road, which again reveals a good production that has rendered a layering to my liking. This album has been carefully made, and particular care has been taken in preserving a contemplative mood throughout the album, while including a variety of rhythms and dynamic song structures. Continue reading »