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Doomstress - Sleep Among the Dead Award winner

Sleep Among the Dead
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 09 June 2019, 2:18 PM

If you are going by the name DOOMSTRESS and also give that name to your band, then you better know your Doom inside and out.  If not, huge fans of anything Doom, such as myself, will rip you apart.  So does DOOMSTRESS survive?  Not only does this band, and their first full length album “Sleep Among The Dead,” survive but also thrive as they have impressed me, and no doubt others, with seven tracks of straight up, no frills old school Doom.

Sleep Among The Dead,” is, quite simply, one stupendous slab of Traditional/Epic Doom that delivers solid elements on just about every level that can be measured.  The overall sound is definitely SABBATH inspired but I can hear some Rock and Roll elements as well.  The key to the album is it contains a subtle, hypnotic sound.  The songs, while obviously filled with many, many crushing riffs, are not something that an an immediate explosion to the face—aggressiveness isn’t the key here but rather a modern take on the original Doom bands of old.   Personally, I think the band could use a bit more punch to their sound but what they do, they do so well.

Bitter Plea,” screams with the opening lead guitar licks—the lead guitar throughout the album always has a purpose to fit the song’s form rather than as a stopgap for cramming in needless material.  The solo in this song cuts into you super deep but not the song itself…I’m not sure who in the band writes the bulk of the material but they are damn good at composition.   The middle portion of the song is rather melodic guitar hook, something the album does very well.  When it comes to this type of Doom, subtle melodies are key and the band straight up nails that.

Doomstress Alexi isn’t just a pretty voice—she also has a firm grasp of the importance of vocal hooks.  The second track, “Burning Lotus,” is crammed to the brim with them and it really pushes the song forward. The Doomstress herself has a powerful voice that flows atop her equally impressive bass lines with ease.  She is expressive as an obviously talented front woman but she doesn’t take center stage.  The album is definitely a team effort and the other three members meld with her very well.  Drummer Scull provides a rock solid foundation, with a constant, crisp attack on the kit that compliments the songs but work well enough on their own.

God Is Blind,” features a chorus that I can just picture fans at a show throwing the horns up and singing along as loud as possible.  If I ever see them live, and they play this song, I know I sure as hell will.  In addition to the catchy chorus, the song shows off more of that melodic magic that Johnson and Taylor do so will in between stupidly heavy riffs. The final track, “Apathetic Existence,” is one of the best traditional Doom songs I’ve heard all year.  It very much so reminds me of BLACK SABBATH’S own self titled song.  The riffs are huge, slow, and surrounded by a dark, almost Gothic atmosphere that gives the song a chilling feel. Around give minutes into it, some bluesy riffs give way to DOOMSTRESS’ laugh before the song kicks up a notch in temple and the band just lays it all out, hitting a very hard home run all the way to the song’s final.

All in all, “Sleep Among The Dead Men,” is a bad ass Doom album…and one that will no doubt climb to Top Ten Doom album lists by the end of the year.  Highly recommended.

Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Bitter Plea
2. Burning Lotus
3. Dreaming Spider
4. Your God Is Blind
5. Bones and Rust
6. Apathetic Existence
7. Sleep Among The Dead
Doomstress Alexi – Bass, Vocals
Tomasz Scull – Drums
Brandon Johnson – Guitars
Matt Taylor - Guitars
Record Label: Ripple Music


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