Sojourner hail from a lot of various countries, such as Sweden and New Zealand.  I admit to being a recent fan of their music and they have been around since 2015.  Their debut in 2016, Empires of Ash and follow-up in 2018 The Shadowed Road are both excellent.  The band blending atmospheric black metal with epic songs all tied into fantasy and nature.  There is a lot going on, when you listen to a Sojourner album.

Their brand new album Premonitions continues with their excellent songwriting skills and musicianship.  Their expansive sounds continue with the keyboards, piano and tin whistle.  When I hear this particular instrument I think it sounds like a flute.  It looks somewhat like a thin recorder and is used to great emotive effect, once again.

8 songs in 56 minutes and “The Monolith” opens with some nice piano work.  Chloe Bray, who has been with the band through all their albums, starts with some beautiful vocals as the guitars then come in and her use of the tin whistle is incredible.  Super emotive and then Emilio Crespo comes in with the black metal vocals-raspy in nature and not really screetchy type annoyance.  Chloe’s vocals over the heavier music is excellent and  Riccardo Floridia adds some excellent double bass.  Some nice rumbling heaviness and if it were not for the melodious nature of certain parts, has almost a Bolt Thrower type of rumbling heaviness.  Mike Wilson provides the undercurrent of bass heaviness and Mike Lamb’s guitar work is exceptional.  The leads, rhythms and biting edge is there –  interwoven with enough melody, on this song, along with that goddamned whistle to bring a tear to your eye.

I have to point out the longest song, at over 8.5 minutes, “Fatal Frame”, has the same name as one of my favorite horror based game series for the PS-2 from many moons ago.  The song starts with some atmospherics and then right into some crucial blast beats and deeper register vocals conjuring up death metal influences as the song then comes back to the Sojourner rumbling mid-paced heaviness which they craft so well.  Excellent guitar melodies with squealing sounds and ethereal guitar solos early on.  A little over with half the song finished the song gets into some piano action as I picture a tortured soul playing this piece in the dark as they yearn for their long lost loved one, from far beyond.  The epic nature of the music erupting then is breathtaking and what makes this genre of extreme metal so special.  Some nice blasting towards the end, with the keyboards over the blast, until the song slows down and the tin whistle helps to round out this wonderful song.

“The Apocalyptic Theater” is another great song with a moody opening section with some cool keyboards.  More epic sounds and frightening fast double bass drums.  Some excellent time changes on this song which really require the listener’s attention.  There is a lot going on.  From the haunting yet beautiful vocals of Chloe to Emilio’s harsher tones as the two pair off quite well.  Sojourner makes it all sound easy and I know damn well it is anything but.  Some nice pounding snare patterns as parts of the song reaches epic crescendo’s that will melt polar ice caps.

The rest of the songs on Premonitions are equally amazing.  The opening song “The Monolith” is my favorite on the album, and this is yet another great Sojourner album.  It sits nicely alongside the other two albums.  Is it better??  That’s a tough one.  It’s more epic, that’s for sure-but yeah-this is their most complete album I feel.  That’s the benefit when you have band members that stick around to record together on multiple albums.  The music is truly incredible and so many sounds to absorb.  This takes repeated listens and each time you discover something new.  Sojourner is a journey to listen to and it is all the more rewarding to continue to go back to an excellent album and keep finding something new.

The album cover is striking with the colors, constellation outlines of parts of the owl and the individuals looking up during their forest quest.  This is not normally the type of metal I listen to, but I think me being a fan of Obsequiae, warmed me up to Sojourner.

Go and discover Sojourner’s Premonitions at once.  Like their FB page, ck out the cool landscape pics they have for each of the songs and pick up their releases.  An imaginative, emotive and truly magical band.  Buy or Die!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
August 18th, 2020


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