SiMÓN - The Inner TravellerSiMÓN are a five piece dutch outfit clammering almost a post-metal sound with a nice touch of sludge and doom thrown in for good measure. This is where I officially throw up my hands at all these genre labels. This band, like many that I like, cross over boundaries in total as well as many times in a track. I am really hoping to have a new year without labels. Putting a label on a band can often turn listeners off immediately and disappoint others with the result. I had a friend once tell me, it’s not about genres but about riffage, so let’s take his advice and live 2014 label free. The bands impending release is called “The Inner Traveller”, which in and of itself raises my curiosity.

“The Inner Traveller” opens with the aptly named ‘Pilgrim Roads’, with a nice low end sludge sound with a lot of chunk. Interestingly, there is some clean singing mixed in with the more traditional pseudo-metal growling. Really reminds of of how Paul Kuhr (Novembers Doom) cleverly mixes growls and clean and makes it work really well. SiMÓN has achieved the same vocal style mix and making it work within the track, giving the impression of inner struggle.

Drifting into ‘Down in the Valley,’ this is a wandering composition including melodic, harsh, and sludgy parts all in one. Has a flair similar to While Heaven Wept with creative compositions that they bring to our metal table. ‘Atmosphere Condensed’ lends more to the proggy side of things without sacrificing style and atmosphere generated through the first two songs. This is like a fine Italian pasta dish, not over seasoned or overdone but rather the perfect blend of spices only to accentuate the main dish, that in a nutshell captures ‘Down in the Valley’. Hints of prog where they are most useful to carry things forward.

‘A Sleepwalkers Memo’ and the title track, hold all things established in the first part of the album. This is fast becoming an experience rather than a collection of songs. Another trait these dutch musicians share with bands like While Heaven Wept, Lumbar, and Wolves In Throne Room. Certainly their styles will vary from artist to artist but these three bands have taken what is a collection of songs and turned them masterfully into an experience. SiMÓN are well on their way to achieving this type of composition.

This was one of those releases that came out of left field and completely surprised me. It is well thought out and composed and just as well executed. These Rotterdam natives should be proud of what they have accomplished on “The Inner Traveller”. SiMÓN is one of those bands toiling in the background creating some great music. I urge everyone to seek this one out, it is a unique listening experience with a wonderful blend of styles but remaining absolutely true to their metal roots.

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