Schiermann – Schiermann

Despite this being a début release, the name Schiermann is highly regarded in the contemporary progressive metal/djent community. At the helm is guitarist Chris Schiermann, who over the course of a decade of recording and writing music has befriended many titans in the genre, with the likes of Animals As Leaders, DispersE and TesseracT, and has taken inspiration from a wide range of influences and styles from such contemporary metal maestros to the virtuoso guitar players, most notably like Randy Rhoads. A wide palette that is abundantly clear on his début solo project release Schiermann (Purple Sun), which includes a plethora of guest appearances from such alumni as mentioned and thus offers a vibrant mix and character.

A predominantly instrumental effort, Schiermann is the result of a long writing process which is evident in the fact that each track offers noticeably different essences to one another; yet doesn’t feel at odds with one another. The opening track ‘Weniger Zeit’ for example offers mesmeric shredding and fretwork throughout, whilst ‘Stygian Path’ takes comparatively simpler riffs at first, before its screeching sax passages transform it to a much more overt jazz number. Clear influences are heard from his peers throughout as well, with the smooth prog stylings of DispersE shining through on ‘Amarantine’ whilst the combination of djent riffing and jazz fusion of the likes of Animals As Leaders comes full force on the masterfully technical ‘Flexuous’. The closing track sees a more typical formulaic song with Ashe O’Hara’s (Voices From The Fuselage) sumptuous vocals leading a cleaner, near folk-influenced track.

 

The level of diversity on display on Schiermann is quite astounding, but equally so is how it balances mind-boggling technical prowess with being accessible and showing warmth, rather than being a pure technical exercise. Schiermann is a veteran of the genre, and whilst not yet a wider household name has shown impressive levels of songcraft on his début full-length release. Expect to hear this name a whole lot more in the near future.

8.0/10

CHRIS TIPPELL