Tag Archives: Sleepers’ Guilt

Sleepers’ Guilt – Kilesa

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It’s been almost three years since one local band underwent a line-up change that made them go from “OK, I guess” to “Nice, I do declare!” in my book. This change was in the form of their lead singer, who was previously of the power metal variant, but was replaced with a growler and thus changed the entire dynamic of the quintet…if you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m going to write about Sleepers’ Guilt today! The guys are about to release their first full-length, or should I say overfull-length, called Kilesa on February 27th!

While the line-up is the same as on the 2013 released EP Road Of Emptiness, this marks the first real release in the current line-up, since the aforementioned record was written with the ex-singer in mind and even though it worked out quite well in the end, you can definitely tell what the true potential of the new sound is this time around. While the Sleepies are staying true to their symphonic and melodic roots, the songwriting is a lot heavier this time around, and almost a one-eighty degree turn, because instead of having the occasional mosh-worthy part among the progressive tunes, these thirteen songs are almost non-stop headbang extravaganza.

But fear not, SG have not descended into bland death metal or hardcore or whatever you’re picturing right now…no, no: they created a, in my opinion, perfect blend of brutally heavy and dreamy melodic parts. If I had to explain it to a stranger, I’d say that they sound like Amon Amarth, but with actually well-written and diverse songs. There’s one for the album sticker, people.

In the opener I mentioned that Kilesa was an overfull-length album…let me delve into that a bit more: the crowd-funded record is a double album which amounts to a total playtime of seventy-eight minutes! Ambitious, to say the least. Ingenious too, though. In order to avoid boredom and repetition, the second half of this opus, is a concept album that features guest vocals of Noémie Leer, of Elysian Gates, and that has a slightly more orchestral and progressive feel to it. The three songs are all around the ten minute mark and provide a wonderful listening experience.

However, this zest for action also has a negative side to it…at least for me. I am simply not a huge fan of albums that are almost as long as a friggin’ movie! I always try to listen to a record at least twenty times before reviewing it…but with a playtime like this, it’s a sheer impossibility. Maybe I’m showing signs of the fast-food society we live in, but I fear that it’s just too long for some. …and that’s what she said.

In all seriousness and in closing: Kilesa is a brilliant work of art that will capture everyone that takes the time to be absorbed by it. And if you are, like me, apprehensive about the playtime…take it one disc at a time. Trust me, it’s worth it. You can visit Sleepers’ Guilt‘s Facebook page for more information, watch the video below for a first impression and last but not least, swing your butt to KuFa on Saturday for the release show of Kilesa!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbsZz-WBOBU]

Sleepers’ Guilt – Road Of Emptiness

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Today I bring you the second highlight of the month in the national metal scene: Sleepers’ Guilt‘s second release Road Of Emptiness! Now, if you have read my review of their first endeavor you know that I wasn’t a fan of the vocals, but I liked the instrumental work. Earlier this year the band parted ways with their singer and announced that they had recruited Patrick Schaul of now-defunct Dead Eyes Memorial to fill the shoes in the vocal department. If you are familiar with the guy, you must have been as surprised as I was…but at the same time, I was very excited to see what the result of this unusual choice would be. Let’s find out, shall we?

The band still plays melodic progressive metal, but you can definitely notice an improvement over their previous material: it all sounds much more fleshed-out and mature. All the beloved elements remain, such as the piano and sparingly-used synthesizers, the killer riffs and the driving drum work, but at the same time the songwriting has vastly become better. The six songs are never repetitive and you are treated to a continuously enjoyable experience.

On a production level, it’s worth mentioning that it’s still self-produced but it sounds fuller than the, already quite well sounding, first EP. Especially the drums sound richer and simply more natural. The guitars also sound much more vicious and, as mentioned earlier, have some brilliant neck-breaker riffs as well as some really intricate ones. The solos are a bit on the slower, more melodic, side but they serve quite well to mix things up a bit, especially in a live setting your neck will thank you for them.

The biggest selling point, to me, however are by far the vocals since Schaul’s growls are almost exactly what I was aching for while listening to the the self-titled debut. To my big surprise he also sings clean vocals, which are obviously not on the same level as those of the band’s previous singer, but he gets the job done quite nicely and they sound very genuine throughout the twenty-nine minutes.

All in all, I would say that the transition has been masterfully achieved and while the growls do rob the band of a certain distinctive factor, they fit the musical direction way better. Definitely give this EP a chance and see for yourself! For more information, you can visit the band’s Facebook page and listen to the song below. And be sure to head to Rockhal this Saturday, where the band is hosting a release show!

Sleepers’ Guilt – Sleepers’ Guilt

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Sleepers’ Guilt are a rather fresh band from Luxembourg who released their self-titled debut EP at the end of March 2012. Even though the quartet was only formed in 2011, it consists of experienced musicians from the now defunct bands Ophidian, Clean State and I Spy Apocalypse.

I’ll start this review with a very unusual and for the end consumer unimportant thing: the digital press kit that was given to me was very nicely put together and featured the songs, the entire booklet in very high quality, some promo pictures as well as an info sheet. And from the latter I’ll actually quote a sentence before I dive into the actual review since it describes their style perfectly: “they play modern melodic metal with a progressive touch and clean vocals, without losing the aggressiveness and trying to create their own sound and their own approach towards making music.”

The first thing that struck me as a listener was the remarkably clean and yet powerful production. Since this EP is entirely self-produced in a private studio in Luxembourg I was blown away by the tight guitar sound and the very organic drum sound. The vocals are also very intelligible and are perfectly mixed into the instrumental surroundings.

The six song EP is all throughout accompanied by piano play and the one or the other synthesizer which gives the ensemble somewhat of a symphonic undertone, as is tradition in the melodic metal genre. However it isn’t too blatant and thus doesn’t distract you at all from the, in some parts, very interesting riffs nor does it sound kitschy. The riffs are actually the part that impress me the most on this record, there are some real neckbreakers on here that I’m sure will motivate many people at home and mostly at shows to headbang enthusiastically.

Lyrically, the EP is mainly sociocritical and definitely a nice read. There is however one thing that heavily bothers me on a personal level: the singer’s voice. This is obviously very subjective but I’m just not a fan of this type of voices, no matter how flawless the performance. It’s what I like to call the “Dream Theater Paradox”: instrumentally to my liking but ruined by the singing. Don’t get me wrong: the vocalist does a great job and in some parts reminds me a bit of the singer of Sabaton but except for a ten second part towards the middle of the last song Raven’s Fight where he (almost) growls it just doesn’t appeal to me.

In conclusion I can definitely recommend giving the EP a chance if you are either open-minded about vocals or if you are into melodic metal. Personally I’ll try to check them out live at the next best opportunity to make up my mind. For more information about their tour dates and possibilities where you can buy their EP, check out their Facebook page and make sure to give the song below a listen.