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Sleeplord - Levels of Perception

Levels of Perception
by Quinten Serna at 27 May 2019, 3:56 PM

SLEEPLORD takes an interesting approach to the metal genre combining various attributes from different eras to form a sound unique to themselves and nearing being undefined. The guitars in themselves are gritty, raunchy, and downright dirty almost like something you’d hear from Venom or Darkthrone whose tones—or turbulence—were known for their deeper and earthier brevities; the bass parallels these dynamics shuddering and shimmering with a Sabbath-esque sound akin to the doomier elements of the genre; and the vocals—by intention or chance—have about them a wide breadth not held down or excluded to one style or voicing—yet, still we are able to discern that it is the same singer throughout despite the wide array of approach. Each paradigm coupled with one another produces the signature soundscape that is SLEEPLORD and in this case specific, the design that is “Levels of Perception.”

The album commences with a radio broadcast on top of a doom inspired guitar riff wherein the mention of trains, documents, fear, and darker histories work their way to the hook and the song title, “Sobibor”—a former Nazi German extermination camp where it is estimated between 200,000 and 250,000 people lost their lives to inane socialist and religious persecution—the song itself alluding to the site as a place of malignity found “…in a darker part of history.” The solo is reaching and chaotic, unfound and untamed yet still in time and in key, illustrating the destructive nature of the song and its theme. “Bigfoot” finds itself in a campier valley—an immediate departure from the preceding song—telling the story of a place of terror and intimidation such that can only be likened to the chilling unreeling screaming and shouting of bigfoot in all of his terrorizing manners—somewhat unclear in its message, the guitar work is better strung together than its predecessor and marks a more composition focused track.

Blood Eagle” is perhaps the creepiest song on the track listing—and most likely designed to be that way—as the guitar starts with long drawn out riffs only to move to a slightly faster doom inspire riff whilst the lyrics speak of performing the Viking execution known as the blood eagle on somebody. This track works well in its placement as it’s distinct from those that surround it by being much more slow and surreal, along with providing some cleaner vocals used for an eldritch effect. More than likely—though of which I’m unsure in totality—“Wasted” sounds as it was meant to be the most fun track on the album as it commences with the opening of a beer bottle—similar in effect to Fear’s I Believe I’ll Have Another Beer—and though the lyrics tell the depressing tale of someone fallen to the self-indulgence of dependency and alcoholism the music sounds more upbeat than the majority of tracks on the album; perhaps then it is the writer’s attempt to narrate the age old adage of carpe diem in modern tongue, though as with all most music it presents itself a subject left open to interpretation.

The album ends on the wisps of “Graveyard Rodeo” (Rodeo and Beer next to one another…?) an eerie but succinct way to end the album, highlighting the band’s heavier roots and penchant for atmosphere. SLEEPLORD is a strange somewhat campy band with sounds that seem to stem from the heavier avenues of metal, with topics that do not… but of any matter they are themselves a formidable group with distinct sound and groove, an experience for anyone interested in such.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Sobibor
2. Bigfoot
3. Stoner
4. Reason to Live
5. Drill Bit
6. The Hammer
7. Blood Eagle
8. Mrs. Simms
9. Wasted
10. Graveyard Radio
Calvin Burgess - Bass
Mick Ross - Drums
Joshua Pitz - Guitars
Ted Anderson - Vocals
Record Label: Pure Steel Records


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Edited 27 May 2020

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