Shortly after watching the video for “Tide Is Rising”, I knew SEVEN SISTERS OF SLEEP was going to be a unique band. Apart from the footage of Häxan, the music was an amalgamation of extreme music. Bits of hardcore, sludge, and doom all peek their head during the track to weave together an unholy blend. The eponymous long-player, which contained “Tide Is Rising” and seven other tracks, continued down that path of fast-paced stoner jams. Late last year, SSOS shared a split with the mighty CHILDREN OF GOD which debuted a slight change in style; one or two minute songs transformed into four or five with a significant doom influence. Now, they've given us another three tracks that blurs the line between genre-tags.
“Sundown” lyrically doesn't stray too far from the previous material, focusing an extreme disdain on humanity. Each word drips with venom... There is no flowery prose or pretentiousness, but simple cut-through-the-bullshit lines that detail dark days ahead. This is the shortest of the three tracks at three-minutes and change harkening back to that short and frantic sound from the first record. There is a span of ten or twenty seconds of insane drumming that feels like someone is grabbing the back of your head and smashing it repeatedly into the wall and just when you're about to lose consciousness, the attacker gives you a momentary respite. “High Priest” continues the assault on religion like “Monastery” and “CCEC” did previously. The riffs take centre stage while the vocals vary from the usual screams to guttural snarling, which really gels well with the piece as a whole. Time flies by so much so that it seems like it's over in thirty seconds. I love the fact there is no grey area with SSOS. It's a distinct with us or against us feel that is very rare outside of perhaps Haymaker and the like.
I've written about the next track twice in the last handful of posts, but “Slower Downer” is so good that it deserves a third post. The more I listen to it, I find more and more layers that continue to impress. The closing half sounds as if TAFKATA merged with ARM & SWORD OF A BASTARD GOD; NOLA styled sludge, Sabbath-esque riffs, and doom vocals combine to create a near five-minute no-holds-barred blitzkrieg.
“Pray for us, we'll follow the echoes
and prey on your fucking everything”
That pretty much sums up the theme for these three numbers. SEVEN SISTERS OF SLEEP continue to release memorable and highly enjoyable records without sounding stale or repetitious. They're churning out a tonne of music at the moment so be on the look out for a limited 7” courtesy of Vedavu and a new full-length in late 2012 or early 2013.
Lastly, I have to comment on the awesome presentation this record has. Not only do you get solid jams, but a SSOS patch, and a poster featuring the album's art. Well worth the price.