A mixture of brainy tech-death and frantic mathcore, this debut album from Boston tech-metallers The Summoned will undoubtedly find a great deal of fans. Especially if they’re into acts like The Faceless, Beyond Creation, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Converge among many others. Sessions has enough of an ADD vibe to appeal to the edginess of modern core-influenced metalheads, while retaining enough of the old blood to keep it halfway relevant to the old school listener. That being said, I’m sure that a lot of the old heads are going to prefer their Gorguts and Atheist albums to this one, which is fine. But if you’ll take the time to dig deep into the recording and really listen to these compositions (aside from the frantic screamy parts) you will definitely find more than a few notable nodes buried deep within the pudding. As you might expect, much of the frantic screaming (which is wholly prevalent in DEP’s early albums) isn’t my cup of tea and I feel that much of it seems to just kind of get in the way, but at the same time I have to recognize that there are younger dudes out there that simply love that stuff and I’d guess it gives them the same kind of rebellious spirit that Nu-Metal gave me when I was growing up. That being said, The Summoned aren’t completely committed to audial terror as the disc also contains a few portions in which atmosphere and some slight acoustics are utilized. A couple of heftier growls also appear here too, but I still can’t call this any kind of death metal and wouldn’t expect you to even remotely consider it in those realms.
The Summoned are a very modern style band with a great deal of intellect, yet still a rough-edge that comes off well onstage. I honestly don’t think the live performances will capture the same level of production here, imagining the vocal end to more or less overpower everything else to the point where we will barely be able to discern the compositions onstage, which is probably my only main gripe about extreme forms of metal being played live – there’s just not as much clarity as you’ll find on the album and despite the high level of energy, if you don’t have the original recordings, you’ll end up missing something in all of the fuzz and distortion. That being said, I’ve been to more than enough modern shows to realize that there’s just enough angst, sporadicity and flamboyancy within these compositions to appeal to the majority of those in the younger crowd. Though I’d much rather them listen to something in this fashion, which is much more intellectual than a majority of the electronic, pop, indie rock and modern hip hop trends that consume American music today.
The Summoned feel like they could be the next big thing in this genre after Dillinger’s demise, but it’s very difficult to tell anymore. I will say that they have enough potential here to take that crown and I’m surprised that more people haven’t heard of them and aren’t blowing up my social media feeds promoting them. There’s more than enough material on this disc to make an impression and I know that some of the musicians that I’d played with in the past would have been all over this. Maybe that means something today? I can’t really be sure. In any case, I’ll have to add that my score here might be a little bit lower than your impressions of the disc, especially if you live and breathe this stuff. As you can tell, it’s not my thing – but I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and there are even a few tracks like “Vertiginous” that definitely caught my attention. I’m not going to jinx it, but I see great things in the future for this band. I’d be a literal fool to say that there wasn’t any potential here, so check it out if it seems up your alley.