"Does the world really need another doom band? Probably not, but that might be why Blessed Black should be the next band on your radar." So begins Blessed Black's bio, and, immediately, prior to hearing a single note, my ho-hum radar is activated. Not sure if that's the one they were referring to, per se. But such are the risks one runs.
It's a valid point: does the world, indeed, really need another doom band? "Need" is a strong word, but there's certainly an audience afoot for this commonplace brand of doom-by-way-of-stoner-rock-by-way-of-grunge-by-way-of-heavy-metal. Provided they are good enough at their craft to merit a listen or two, I certainly won't turn them away, and so here we are, spinning this Cincinnatian(?) outfit's worthy debut, for what must be the tenth time today.
The good Capt. Graves is back in business, fresh off the wild festivities resulting from the Advent Varic signing release announcement. He seems to be mightily impressed with this one, which is...uncharacteristic. But we'll take it. - Ed.
Written by: Capt. Graves
Some things are worth the wait. Izthmi's new record (The Arrows Of Our Ways) is definitely one of those things.
I normally hate soundscapes, but this band really does them right. The long intro has me torn because I hate them. With this one, however, I'm reminded of catastrophe, and gloom. Then the black metal, high treble guitars come in, and I'm taken for that spin into darkness and despair. The bass guitar stands out in the mix, and I'm down for this ride into the bleak. Acoustic guitars with harsh black metal belching from the guts of a madman, indeed. This vocalist is a monster, a savage, and we all know how well that sits with me.
Written by: Ancient Hand
If you passed by these parts 12 months ago (give or take), you would have seen our very own Ancient Hand's eclectic-ass list of year-topping albums. And guess what? We love the guy so damn much that we decided to bring him back for round two.
Ranging from the most extreme to the most ethereal, a wide range of genres are represented--and appreciated--here at the Sleeping Village. In that adventurous spirit, we invite you to cower and/or rejoice. Here are Ancient Hand's top 20 albums of 2019.
Here is a feature we slumbering scribes have dragged, kicking and screaming, back from the grave. A year back, desperate for some entertainment of the visual persuasion, we here at the Sleeping Village constructed ourselves a venue, of sorts--a public playhouse designed to house the raunchiest productions around. After a single feature presentation, however, said venue promptly fell into disuse and ruin. A shame, really, because in this world of underground metal, there are a good many videos worth checkin' out. Thus: now is the time for revitalization.
Push aside the cobwebs and vines, dear reader. Kick away the decaying ravens and piles of loam; the show is about to begin. Today, for your viewing pleasure, the Sleeping Village is pleased to present the music video for Belong, title track and lead single from L'Homme Absurde's forthcoming third album. It's a killer track and impressive video, and, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, I wholeheartedly recommend you watch for yourself:
We Villagers are a busy lot this time of year, what with the silliness of year-end (and decade-end) lists. Thus, Captain Graves has taken the reins in the review department, as of late. Good thing too--the longer he's occupied with killer tunes, the more time we have to dig our own graves. - Ed.
Written by: Capt. Graves
We ate way too much Tumulan fungi last night in the Village. Needless to say, there wasn't much sleep going on. Instead, I spent the night listening to Rabbits by Brume, and down the hole I went chasing that fluffy white rabbit. In that hole I found a wonderland with talking animals and floating clocks.
The first track, "Despondence," brings you in and out of riffs and atmosphere. The vocals here are extremely powerful--they will send you spiraling into the abyss, and shoot you back out the other end. One thing I didn't enjoy about this track was the length. It felt like it was going nowhere by the end, like I'd been listening to the same riff for hours. "Scurry," however, has much more depth in the songwriting, and really starts to bring out the band's strong suits. More soaring vocals to send me deep into space, where I belong. A nice gentle atmospheric interlude to bring you around to an epic, slow, gritty guitar solo. This song feels like it has some nu-metal influence, and I can dig it.
Well, here we are, standing at the end of a long and arduous decade-long road. Rather than wax poetic, however, let's cut straight to what you're all here for: the Albums of the Decade. Drumroll, applause, frivolous bows, etc.
This whole endeavor is an utterly subjective affair. Hence, I'll preface this by saying that, although excellent in their own right, the following 10 albums are almost certainly not the best that the decade has to offer. Nor are they necessarily my favorites. Rather, these are the albums that have significantly impacted the ways in which I consume and enjoy heavy music. They have all earned a coveted spot on this list by benefit of having defined my decade. Nothing more, nothing less.
It has been an honor sharing my love for metal with you all over the past few years, and it is my sincere hope that this list will lead you to some music that you may have otherwise overlooked or forgotten. Without further ado...
Well. Color me incorrect. It would appear the Captain is pulling his weight after all. - Ed.
Written by: Capt. Graves
I woke from my slumber to the sounds of some awesome black metal from SYN, a USBM band out of New Jersey. They say New Jersey is full of shit, and I couldn't agree more. These boys in SYN must have come from another land. No way would The Jersey Shore cast dig this, or maybe they would? I digress.
SYN takes those awesome elements of old school black metal and nail it really well. This is a rehearsal demo I'm listening to on cassette. What is it with all these damn dinosaur ways to listen to music making a comeback? Where did you all go wrong with all of the technology at your disposal? Earthlings really are something to behold. I can't wait for these dudes to get me a full length, and because they're so close by, I'm sure you'll see a SYN and Advent Varic show coming soon.
It won't be in New Jersey.
SYN - Rehearsal Demo was released Aug. 2019
While the Good Captain has, as of late, been all too happy to make himself at home in the Sleeping Village's humble confines, it's been a while since he graced us with a demonstration of his prowess with the ol' pen. Maybe...maybe the (self-described) Destroyer of Worlds is getting a tad too comfortable? Only time will tell. - Ed.
Written by: Capt. Graves
Hails from the Village, I have stepped foot among this filthy place again. For me the putrid smells, and humid air really make me feel at home. As we all got stoned around the fire last night, I decided to hunker down and listen to the new Opium Warlock album, and man did it send me spiraling into the abyss. This is some heavy shit, boys and girls. Opium Warlock is a band out of Prague and they deliver some of the best doom The Swamp has to offer.
The leading track, "Signals from Uranus," is layered in synths and bells. I may have just had a signal from my anus, and it's quite tingly. "Meth Desert" has some guest vocals from Ganja Mutt, and this man really knows how to make me tingle too. I think this song should have been called..."Signals from Uranus."
In the metalverse, there is an exceedingly thin line between stereotypes and archetypes when it comes to genre personas. You know the (hyphen-heavy) ones. The bare-chested beer-guzzling wild-eyed thrasher. The smoggy amp-worshipping doomster. The blurry-selfie-in-the-forest bedroom black metallers. And, if you take this latter one step further: the anonymous one-man atmospheric DSBM outfit. In the case of today’s review, this is the intentionally mysterious archetype upon which we land. vide is an enigmatic character, utterly shrouded. All I can report is an affiliation to a variety of other solo projects (All Monsters, Some Dead Bodies, Empty, Anonymous Hands), and what the bio provides: “nobody from the swamps of Louisiana / Texas.” Slim pickings indeed.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!