To be frank, I approached Four Dimensional Flesh with immense trepidation. Brutal death metal and/or slam aren’t exactly locales I find myself frequenting with any kind of regularity--if I pass through, it’s usually a lone track in the midst of an otherwise innocuous playlist. While the dedication to slammin’ riffs and woodpecker-on-a-hot-tin-roof percussive fills are certainly attractive bedfellows, the trademark drainpipe gutturals and resonance chamber bree-brees really ain’t this scribes cup o’ vox.
And yet here we are, plumbing the gurgling pipes with a grim sense of glee. Why? Because Afterbirth, much like Wormhole, strives to make slam interesting. And it is this quality that remains Four Dimensional Flesh’s greatest strength amongst strengths.
Written by: Lord Hsrah
We've all been hearing of people going to space these past few days, with Jeff Bezos being the latest to do so. And while some of us may start to wonder whether or not space is the final frontier here, Epoch of Chirality prepares for launch with their debut album Nucleosynthesis, where space is just the beginning and what lies ahead is a mystery best known to the unknown. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, lift off!
Epoch of Chirality is a one man sci-fi metal project started by England-based musician Richard How, and Nucleosynthesis is their first full-length album that follows their 2020 EP Dawn of Chirality. The album, dubbed as "sci-fi metal," has 9 instrumental songs in total, all of which, quite obviously, draw heavily from sci-fi soundscapes. Nucleosynthesis starts off pretty slow, and in general, the build up to the actual beefy material of every song takes quite a while too. There's plenty usage of synth and other electronic instruments to help create those soundscapes like they were straight out of the 80's. A lot of it is shared by modern synthwave acts, and what they do. Quite frankly speaking, at times it does feel like a nice space-synth album, albeit heavier in all tones and textures.
Written by: The Administrator
There's nothing quite like an unexpected surprise plucked from the depths of our promo pit. Retrieving a random press kit from the heap and subsequently finding something weird and wonderful will never grow old, and indeed remains one of my personal primary motivations for writing here at ye olde Sleeping Village. Philadelphia's own Lástima recently dropped their forthcoming two-track EP in the ol' inbox, and, needless to say, it made for an exciting encounter.
Lástima play blackgaze through an overtly emo lens--a sub-subgenre that reflects the nature of the band's moniker with a delightful accuracy. Referring to a sense of pity or hurt, or "to be said in order to show compassion for someone in pain," lástima seemingly describes a range and intensity of emotion that feels both potent and familiar. The music itself reflects this multifaceted term quite stirringly, and that, in and of itself, is a victory in the realm of overtly emotionally driven music. Without further ado: let's dive in!
Written by: The Administrator
At risk of showing all my cards before the review even begins: Dream Tröll are one of my very favorite bands, and have been for a couple o' years now. Time, methinks, to gush accordingly.
I first heard Realm of the Tormentor a few weeks ago, and for the entire stretch of time between then and now, every single track contained within has been firmly lodged in my skull. This level of sheer likeability and competence inevitably raises the question: is Dream Tröll capable of putting out a less-than stellar release? Thusfar, I pleased to offer a resounding "no." Despite a rotating cast of vocalists that nearly recalls the drummer woes of umlauted brethren Spın̈al Tap, the consistency in quality they have demonstrated since 2018's The Witch's Curse is simply incredible--and 2017's The Knight of Rebellion, while less refined, is no snoozer either. Literally every single track they have released is a certified banger, a non-skipper, a prime exemplar of traditional metal prowess in the modern era. These guys claim to keep the spirit of old-school metal alive by "making the OLD sound NEW again"...and y'know what? Not a single lie hath been detected.
Written by: Shane Thirteen
I started this review like so many others: Scorched Green in a glass piece. As per usual I have spent a few days listening to the work I am to dive into. The very first time I gave this album a spin I knew I was going to dig it. II by 10,000 Years is spacey, sludgy, and fuzzy. Just how I like it.
You see, I don't do the technical approach to reviewing. Some do, and that is great. Breaking down the album song by song and giving opinion on the technical nature of the band. I give two shits about that. I approach all reviews as if I were a fresh faced young music fan who was just handed an album by a buddy to check out. I want to explore new music with the same gusto I had when I got into records back when I was about 14. The absolute emotion of the things is what turned me on. Albeit, my tastes have changed. But I still approach music as if I have only just begun.
Written by: Tom
Swimming in the depths of the underworld, there lives a band named Gore Dimension. These Turkish lads only come up for air in order to dispense their brutal death metal upon the legions of fans, fans that will only accept the heaviest, goriest, and nastiest musical offerings set in front of them. With this April's release of Ethereal Realm, those fans got just what they were asking for.
Gore Dimension has a great name, bringing to mind a dimension where the grotesque is normal, as its inhabitants live in a Purge-like state of homicide, where blood and gore are the only rules and everybody loses. Besides the unholy brutality on Ethereal Realm, we will also find samples from one of the most recognizable films, the cult classic, Heavy Metal! This was one of my favorite films, and having those Loc-Nar samples in here really added to my enjoyment of this album. But let's dig in a bit, shall we?
Written by: Blackie Skulless
Coming from the hot plains of Corona, California, are a death metal outfit known as Masochist. They only have this one release from a couple years ago, but they appear to be alive on the horizon. Chaos Of World Possession is the title of the EP, and early on they display a strong ear for groovy chops. It’s also pretty concise for the stage that it’s in.
That of course helps and hurts. Usually I have a tougher time with cleaner death metal. The drumming comes through in a vibrant manner because of their crushing speed, but it can sometimes feel less-than organic because of the sheer clarity. Vocally, it takes a bit of a hit as well for the same reason. Thankfully, neither thing really stops it from being pleasing overall. It also on the other end helps because of how nicely you can pick up on this mean riff machine.
Review by: The Administrator
The first time I heard this album was not a standard listening experience.
It was nighttime, and I was walking through miles of vaguely unfamiliar neighborhoods en route to my car, which was parked--abandoned, out of necessity--on the street with a flat tire. It was blizzarding with a slow fury, the kind of dense snow that doesn't fall violently, but rather languidly, with full knowledge of the incalculable weight of its component parts. A vehicular retrieval mission was in order, but, with the full realization that the next few days would inevitably be defined by the encroaching snow-in, there was not exactly a sense of urgency. Hence: a perfect time to crank some tunes most foreboding.
Enter Ancestral Memory, a split album by the enigmatic The Sun Came Up Upon The Left and the gloriously (astoundingly? frighteningly?) prolific Everson Poe. Needless to say, a suitably significant impression was left with me in the dark and the snow. Indeed, I recently described this stellar release as "one of my very favorite albums of the year thusfar." Given the sheer quantity of quality music that rings through these humble halls, I hope that designation carries some sort of weight.
Ancestral Memory represents a brilliant meeting and melding of minds, the result of which is a harrowing, crushing, and otherwise (tastefully) overwhelming experience. It's a delicate and paradoxical balance between chest-crushingly beautiful and chest-crushingly depressive. While any attempt at genre categorization is fraught with peril--more on that later--a good ol' F(or) F(ans) O(f) goes a long way in terms of helping navigate the waters. On this particular subject, promo material namedrops Thou, Oathbreaker, Amenra, Un, Kowloon Walled City, Mizmor, Vile Creature, Windhand, and Subrosa--a list of heavy hitters if I've ever seen one. Ancestral Memory does not sound like a product of these artists per se, but the thematic and aesthetic approach is notably similar across the board: sweeping and emotive soundscapes, heavy on the atmosphere and the introspection.
Written by: Continuous Thunder
When I learned that The Devil Wears Prada was going to release a sequel to their Zombie EP, I was equally excited and apprehensive. It’s no secret that I consider the Zombie EP to be among the band’s best releases and that it might very well be their best release overall. Returning to the subject of the zombie apocalypse is an intriguing prospect, but the sequel has big shoes to fill. The concern is compounded when you consider that the last release from the band was The Act in 2019, where the band made a significant shift in their sound towards an allegedly more mature post-hardcore. While that album received almost universal acclaim from critics, it wasn’t all that exciting to me, personally and it was ultimately disappointing. Would ZII (read “zee two,” or “zed two” if you’re from any country other than the US) return to the undead wasteland and observe it through this new, breakdown-less lens, or would the band try to go back 11 years and recapture the blistering fury of the original?
Welcome back, weary traveler! Firstly, if ye missed Part 1 of this mid-year extravaganza, we highly recommend checking that out first. If you're already familiar with what this is all about, however: thanks so much for reading and returning for more! As always, we appreciate your patronage and your support, particularly now that our humble halls are filled with an exciting array of guest writers who deserve to have their words read.
Again, this collaborative list is far from exhaustive, and represents but a fraction of our collective favorites. As such, please feel free to leave a comment with a recommendation or two! List season is a great time to show the musicians that we love a little well-deserved support, and if you wanna shout someone out, this is as good a time as any. In that spirit, I'd like to once again offer thanks to everyone who helped make this list a reality and a success.
Without further ado, let's dive in! Today's list is a tad longer than the first, so pull up a chair, put up yer feet, and stay a while.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!