When I have to do with Sweden I always talk about this country being famous […]
By Yiannis Dafopoulos
May 14, 2009
Semlah - Semlah album cover

When I have to do with Sweden I always talk about this country being famous for its Death Metal scene, its Stoner bands, as well as its sleazy Glam Rock bands. What SEMLAH made me realize is that I always forget to mention one more really strong scene that comes from Sweden, the Doom Metal one. CANDLEMASS, KRUX, COUNT RAVEN and NEMESIS are only a few of the Swedish bands that have left a priceless heritage in the Doom Metal genre.

This band exists since 2001, when they released their first demo entitled Ruin. After one more demo CD in 2004, the band managed to sign a contract with the German label Cyclone Empire for the release of its debut full-length album. I didn't even know this band, so this album is probably a good chance to get to know them.

One thing this band has and can be actually proud of is its bassist Tommy, who is former bassist of the cult Swedish Doom Metal band COUNT RAVEN. To tell you the truth, I was expecting something slightly better, but it seems that SEMLAH is nothing more than a decent Doom band with some nice riffs here and there and a vocalist that in my humble opinion needs some extra work. His screams are pretty good but there are times his kind of loses it. The production could be a bit better, but some die hard Doom maniacs may say that it would spoil the whole atmosphere. Sorry but I am not such a supporter of this ideology. The album carries this Swedish vibe that features slow tempos with some classic Heavy Metal moments, but with bands like MEMORY GARDEN and many more out there, I think that SEMLAH need to work a bit more in order to be strong competitors in today's demanding scene.

I guess that devoted doomsters will find some interesting stuff in here, but in general Semlah is not the album that will send shivers down your spine. Since it is only their first full-length attempt I will be nice and give them another chance. I am going to wait for their next album.

PS: What the fuck does Semlah mean?

6 / 10

Had Potential

"Semlah" Track-listing:

From The Seat Of False Judgement
Path Of A Waning Moon
Axioms Of Life
Perennial Movement III
Manifestations Obscure
Perennial Movement II
Frayed Wings
Beyond Salvation
My Spirits Fail

Semlah Lineup:

Joleni - Vocals
Tomas Johnson - Guitar
Tommy Wilbur - Bass
Johannes Bergh - Drums

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