Our motley township owes an obvious debt to Black Sabbath…but Sleeping Village, today’s group in question, also lifted their moniker from Sabbath's plunder-worthy supply of deepcuts. And so, despite being prompted to do so by our friends at Crypt Guard, it was inevitable that after reviewing Sleeping Village’s promising EP here at the Sleeping Village, we would end up writing about their future endeavors. On a #SabbathSunday, no less! Thus, on the docket today: Sleeping Village’s latest 5-track release, entitled Holy Water.
We all know what we’re getting into, from the logo, to the borderline occult atmosphere, to the riffage, to the Geezer-esque low end and the Ward-ish percussion. No question ‘bout it: these guys live, breath, and die by the monolithic template established by (Ozzy-era) Black Sabbath. Indeed, their bio indicates an unabashed acknowledgement of their particular station: Sleeping Village is “unashamed Sabbath worship.” With that in mind, is it worth listening to Holy Water instead of just throwing on Master of Reality for the umpteenth time?
Written by: Vattghern
I’m a critic at heart. Chance is, if you spend just a little bit of time with me, you’ll roll your eyes at me constantly being nitpicky about everything that decides to fall into my hands, so to speak. Naturally my nitpickiness is ever so present when new music awaits judgement, which results in few things really blowing my socks off. Yet one song that sparked my interest when browsing Bandcamp pretty early in 2020--when toilet paper was still available en masse and doing one’s groceries didn’t feel like Russian roulette--did just that: blow my socks off. “Sails” by Elephant Tree was neither from a genre I was fond off nor was it from a band I previously knew. Despite that, I fell in love, excessively hitting the play button.
So, when the promo sheet was updated and I spotted Elephant Tree’s new studio album Habits, my eyes lit up and I instantly messaged the Village Overlord, begging for a promo copy. As you’ve already guessed, my request was heard and here I am, reviewing Habits, the new album by stoner rock aficionados Elephant Tree.
Here’s a factoid our eagle-eyed archivist doesn’t expect anyone to recall: back in the primordial days of this site, we published a track review of the delightfully entitled “Obstrinxerit,” from a Albuquerque-dwelling sludge duo named Sword Horse. It made an impression on me then--to quote: “‘Obstrinxerit’ maintains a free-flowing ambiance, an irresistible pull into a cave that is too small. In this case, Death doesn’t beckon, so much as leave you with no other option.” Chilling stuff.
Given a certain enamorment with this track, as well as a healthy appreciation for their prior work, I was suitably intrigued by the release of a self-titled EP way back in August of last year. I listened to the damn thing quite frequently, a little sludge-me-up between other releases. Despite an intent to put pen to paper and scratch out a review, I simply...didn’t. And so the apology tour continues. I arise today from an apparent Rip Van Winkle situation to inform you that, unlike yours truly, you really shouldn’t look this gift Sword Horse in the mouth.
As a pseudo-medieval Village inhabited by a motley crew of slumbering (albeit highfalutin) peasants, we've dealt with a lot of absurd challenges. And, to our credit, we've survived ‘em all--quite handily, I might add. Feudal serfdom? A non-issue: we deposed that sucker years ago. Blatantly nonexistent sewer system? At this point we can't smell, and we're certifiably immune to any plague these rats have to offer. Loot-thirsty marauders from the north? They leave us alone now; last time they attempted an assault, we armored up, threw on some Sabaton, and slaughtered their strongest warriors with ease.
But here’s something we have yet to deal with: Orcs. Y’know, the brutish and (typically) malevolent beasts of lore. Two be-tusked specimens have emerged from their slime-ridden dens, and, much to our amused curiosity, are currently sniffing around our hastily constructed barricade. They’ve killed some chickens, but beyond that, they seem...uncharacteristically friendly. This may be a terrible mistake, but let’s let them in, shall we? If we perish this fateful day, so be it.
Written by: Carlos Balmaceda
Orphans of Doom is a Kansas City based metal band that offers a refreshing mix of familiar genres. Combining elements of thrash, sludge, and a decent coating of crossover, has helped them out a stamp on their local and regional scene. The band formed in the summer of 2016 and consist of Jeremy Isaacson (Bass/Vocals), Bryan Sedey (Guitar), Greg Koelling (Drums) and has since released released two full length albums. Their first album, Strange Worlds/Fierce Gods, came out of the gate hot and made for a strong debut. Strange Worlds/Fierce Gods was an intense ripper that kept your head banging through the entirety of its run time, and is a great foundation for what could be a very strong career in heavy music. The question is, “Does this new album keep that fire rolling?”
In the expansive metalverse, doom is my first love. When a band delivers a fat Iommi riff drenched in the fog of genre convention, I am content to sit, passively, in the palm of their momentarily almighty hand.
What ye may not know about this particular scribe is that, in addition to the doom, I also encountered a pretty sizable grunge period in my late teens. Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, et. al. were the name of the game, and the tropes associated with those melancholic wells still run deep in my musical preferences. Thus, when the two combine in unholy matrimony, my cold heart inevitably warms and weeps. This sentiment, of course, leads us to the track before us now--CELLARDOOR’s excellent debut single, released today.
Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
Greetings to all of you people today! I hope you are having a great day. Let me just start off by saying that Novembers Doom is criminally underrated. For the past 30 years these gentlemen have been gradually evolving with such ease, without alienating their fanbase. Within these past 10 years, Novembers Doom have been taking a more progressive direction with each album, to their credit it's working and I'm happy to tell you that Nephilim Grove is a masterpiece and continues their evolution with new ideas but without sacrificing where they started.
The album begins on a strong note with the leadoff tracks "Petrichor" and "The Witness Marks, the former of which utilizes vocalist Paul Kuhr's ever-blossoming range. Guitarists Larry Roberts and Vito Marchese come out of the gate with a flurry of heavy, chunky riffs and then even it out with gorgeous melodies to accompany Mr. Kuhr during the chorus. Fantastic drum work from Gary Naples who compliments the heaviness with tasteful double-bass and fill work.
After long last, we slumbering peasantry arise from Rip Van Winkle-hood, back with another edition of our neglected Sleeping Village Sampler.
For those of you not in the know, this is our (regrettably infrequent) column wherein we review, in brief, two of the bands that have escaped the clutches of a full length writeup. Usually there is an underlying current, a theme connecting the two. In other words, a method behind the madness. This time, however, all I’ve got is this: both bands featured here today have the word “Serpent” in their name, and they both requested a review on the same damn day. That’s simply too coincidental to neglect, and so here we are. Pull off your boots, pull up a chair, and stay awhile. You may want to check your boots for snakes later on, but that's life.
Written by: Izzy
What does anxiety feel like to you? When your chest tightens up and breathing becomes heavy? Sweat dripping down your neck and your heart beating like a kick drum? Being paralyzed with fear, unable to move, your back becoming heavy and the air around you turning into a thick sludge you can barely drag yourself through? For me, it’s all of the above, because anxiety feels to me like how Body Void sounds.
This Californian drone-punk-sludge-metal-death-crust-doom-core trio creates some of the most viscerally disgusting and hideous sludge in existence, and I have loved them since the second I first heard them. I could go on for hours about my infatuation with their music. However, I would be remiss for not mentioning Keeper as well, despite my unfamiliarity with them. These Cali contemporaries provide the perfect companionship to Body Void here, and are one of the few bands with a comparable style, except with an extra blackened edge, partnering flawlessly with Body Void by adding their own flavour to the split.
*An Addendum to our Albums of the Decade List
This brilliant album somehow slipped my mind back when we were reflecting on the decade as a whole. That travesty will not stand! Thus:
Being a pseudo-medieval Village existing on the cusp of the gothic period, we have a certain appreciation for gothic metal. The fifth and (unfortunately) final effort from Woods of Ypres is both a genre stalwart, and a general shining star in the past decade of heavy music.
The entire affair is obviously informed by the death of vocalist David Gold two months prior to release. Given the death-and-legacy oriented themes, moments such as the refrains of "the dead are to be forgotten" and "we shouldn't worship the dead" on "Adora Vivos" take on an...eerily apropos leaning.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!