Four sets of hearts and minds shape SUMERLAND: Dorien Campbell (vocals and guitar), David Gibson (bass), Marshall Serna (keyboards), and Enrique Ugalde (drums, guitar, vocals). Sharing a similar musical vision, the band formed in 1997, taking the name after a progressive state of consciousness achieved on the way to the afterlife.
Based in Portland, Oregon, SUMERLAND quickly established themselves in the Northwest US music scene through their electrifying live performances. With their blend of acoustic instruments, keyboard strings and tribal drumming, SUMERLAND's live shows are not a typical band concert, but rather like a force of nature on stage. Their performances recall a summoning of something otherworldly, yet their music taps into something archetypically primal and spiritual within the human consciousness. They generate such intensity that we are lifted out of ourselves and transported elsewhere, to a world where lush green trees surround us with the thick green velvet of the forest floor pressing underneath our feet.
The quartet's first recording was the CDEP "...and all is always now", released in February 2000. It featured the song "Circle Dance", which gained the band international and US airplay, and praises from the press. Outburn Magazine noted "...SUMERLAND's depth and individuality shine...", while Starvox.net says, "the rich textures woven by these passionate musicians play counter melody to one of the most seductive vocal talents I've heard in ages." Later in September 2000 they contributed the tribal "Morpheus (repraise)" to the Middle Pillar Presents Butoh CD compilation. They were signed to the Middle Pillar label in early 2001.
With their debut full length Middle Pillar release exotically entitled SIVO, they have truly managed to capture the lush and intoxicating sound that makes them resonate so powerfully on stage. Underneath the enchanting instrumentation is the emotionally charged voice of Dorien Campbell. Reminiscent of David Sylvian of Japan and Dominic Appleton of This Mortal Coil, Dorien's sensual baritone vocals and haunting lyrics weave effortlessly around the melodies of the players. SIVO relates a death-rebirth cycle as each song details by steps a transformation from one state to another. SUMERLAND have the presence, the strength, the raw intensity to take us there... and we want to go.
For 2006 Sumerland released "Imaginary Ways", their long anticipated follow-up to "SIVO".