Seven Sisters Of Sleep - ST
Everybody were raving about Seven Sisters Of Sleep when this album came out. People everywhere seemed almost taken aback by it and the reviews were glowing. Me, I just couldn't get into it. For some reason it just didn't do it for me. Maybe it was the longish name, maybe the generally slow plodding pace or the sludgy esthetic of their music in general, or perhaps I'm just retarded sometimes. It isn't that the music of SSoS is in any way difficult or overly challenging, I just didn't, for whatever reason, click with the tunes on the album, they just drifted past me without sinking any hooks in. I recently went back and sat through the album again and all of a sudden I got it. How I couldn't before is beyond me. It's almost impossible to describe SSoS's music without using the words Black and Sabbath so I'm not even gonna try. Suffice it to say, this is some amazingly well-crafted, heavy dirty metal with nods to sludge-masters Eyehategod as well as the previously mentioned precursors of all that is heavy in metal. It's not all slow all the time - in fact there are more than a few moments of ferocious hardcore velocity - but the pervading sense is that of desperation and dread and crumbling landscapes frozen in time. The much needed sense of urgency and release in the faster-paced parts serve as a momentum breaker that infuses a definite sense of dynamic into the album. I keep thinking of Eyehategod, circa Dopesick when I hear this but with a punkier attitude and less suicidally inclined. The vocal style on display here would fit perfectly on any d-beat charged hardcore album and this works really well within the context of these songs. Everything reeks of desperation and rage, from the vocals to the constricting, dense atmosphere of the music itself, and while all the songs are short and never even get the chance to be long-winded, they're also never leave you with a sense of being unfinished. In fact, the best song on the album, Swamp, isn't even two minutes long. The band apparently features members from The Arm And Sword Of A Bastard God (whom I have both heard of and heard - got a tape somewhere) and Tafkata (whom I have never heard of). Grade A stuff.