From the initial tolling of the cymbal bell, it rapidly becomes a pretty clear picture that Compendium isn’t any old run-of-the mill doom-sludge. As the song kicks in proper, it dawns on on the listener that what you’re in for is 63-odd minutes of worship at the altars of the likes of Crowbar, Neurosis and Eyehategod. In other words, heeeeeeaaavy. I’m not naïve enough to call Sleepbringer mere imitators (in a genre crusted with them) – their songwriting well holds its own in comparison to the aforementioned masters; but the homage is strong enough to draw favorable comparison. Though, there’s at least one instance (the latter half of “Caravan of Martyrs”) when the band almost –almost- veers into post-metal territory; but then that earth-smashing rhythm guitar careens back into the song in the nick of time and drags the helpless listener back out to unsafe black waters. Every track here is granite-solid, slow-motion-neck-snap gold: “The Old Vs. The New (Testament)” is a relentless exercise in soundtracking the apocalypse.
There’s the monolithic curbstomp of “Everything You Know Is a Lie”. Or the southern-fried fist-in-the-face, black-eye kiss goodnight from “Double Shot of Fuck You”. Lest you get too depressed, there’s even a vague glimmer of hope (the kind that follows after everything else is lost) that envelops the beginning of “Procession”. But the pièce de résistance here is absolutely the instrumental closer “I Am The Way Into The City Of Woe”, its clarion-call riff laying absolute overkill waste to everything that hasn’t already been destroyed in the rest of the album’s wake. To sum up: A monstrous take on sonic-disaster sludge, Compendium is the absolute heaviest album I have heard so far this year.
That’s not an honor I bestow lightly, but god damn it, I’m sticking to my guns on this one. Sure, the year’s still got a ways to go yet, but I can safely say that for sheer, subtle-as-an-obelisk-dropped-on-your-head heaviness, Sleepbringer’s Compendium is a strong contender for the win. I would highly recommend you acquaint yourself with this one, if gargantuan, life-rending love-songs-to-the-end-of-the-world are your cup of tea. The good news is you can check Compendium out for free at http://sleepbringer.bandcamp.com/album/compendium Rating: 9.5 _______________________________________________________________________________________ Born from the ashes of Heroes Laid to Rest, Sleepbringer delivers a sound that is dense yet simplistic, eerie and blissful all at that particular moment in time. A charged swelling of misanthropy is the backbone for Sleepbringer's distrust and gloomy tumult. Willing to take their time, Sleepbringer purges lost souls with gravel throat vocals, the clamor of war drums, abyssal bass bombardment, and the demolition of dual guitar passages bent on nuclear winter.
This is a lament in pursuit of descending desolation. At times bluesy, cold, and forlorn, Compendium is a haunting and stark collection of grimy dirges. At just over an hour, Compendium is a continual transition from one song to the next that relies on patience and a lingering sense of ruin. Sleepbringer builds layers of riffs, tempo changes, and solos only to drop you to the depths of humanly woe.
At the end of it all, you will know their morose tale of suffering and ultimate redemption: everything you know is a lie. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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