Are you ready to blow it all up?
By that, I mean are you ready to get super real about examining who we are, how we quantify our reality, and what it means to be alive? That’s the point of the songs that make up “Alias”, an upcoming offering from five-piece metal band, Sleep Waker.
And from what I got from the songs, not only self-examine our ridiculous lives, but we, as a collective, need to RAGE about what needs to change to get back to a reality that is based on truth – and maybe taking care of each other a little better too.
But on to the album that every metalhead on earth is going to add to their permanent collections – if they are metalheads for life that is.
The brutality starts immediately with hard chunky guitars and nefarious vocals in “Alias”, the first track out of ten songs that make up the album. Tasteful hoo-haw gives the song a sort of “out of this world” vibe. There is a brief respite in the middle 8 before winding up even more brutal than it started. I’m absolutely in love with the lyrics and I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone, but “our lives entwined in dissonant melody” makes my spine tingle.
“Skin” breaks in and while “Alias” was heavy, “Skin” adds another layer of mercilessness that’s going to reach out and hook even the most jaded metal enthusiast. I would love to be on hand to witness the mosth pits that are going to break out with the tones in this masterpiece. There is a sprinkling of EDM that leaves me itching to MOVE. I triple dog dare you to crank this one up and keep your head from banging.
Just when I think we’re sure to hear a lighter track, “Strangers” keeps laying it on thick and heavy. This down and dirty delivery has another sprinkling of synth that adds to the deliciousness. The breakdown leaves me speechless (I’m seriously not joking!), other than DAMN that was good! These guys have an interesting relationship with timing, I really dig it, and it keeps listeners guessing about what it going to come up next. The outro to “Strangers” is SO cool!
“Cold Moon” is a quick respite of electronica meeting up with epic metal mayhem. The slow build-up and hint of lighter sounds layering into the dark vibes are wonderfully, goosebumpy ominous.
A cool computer-y like effect kicks off “Melatonin” before breaking off into a bombastic opus. The guitars are SWEET and add to the energetic dynamics. This song is another one on this album that is sure to make the mosh pit go crazy.
“Insomniac” has a skipping record sort of intro that takes me back to days where I had records that skipped. Of course, the growling vocals come in over the intro, along with some amazing experiential harmonies that will put goosebumps on your goosebumps.
Savagery starting out the gate of “110 Minutes” highlights a brilliant groove. The vocals lay gorgeously over the music, and that holds true for all the songs. The production and mixing throughout the entire album are exceptionally well done. You can check it out for yourself in the YouTube video at the end of this review.
“Serenity” will resonate with everyone who has ever had to struggle to find a few minutes of peace in an otherwise chaotic time. I hear some super old-school metal mixed in with the newer sounds Sleep Waker lays down. The guitar riffs are SIK!!! This song has the most melodic parts of the entire album with juicy backing vocals and an incredible breakdown. This is one of my favorite songs on the album.
I thought the last couple of songs wouldn’t be able to hold a candle to the preceding tracks, but this album keeps getting better and better! “Synthetic Veins” has a cool bass filling in the gaps between the guitars with SWEET vocals and growls adding the finishing touches. There is some magic going on in this mix for sure.
The final track “Distance” is a heartbreaking goodbye to someone who obviously struggled for a long time before going into that final sleep. If there was such a thing as a metal ballad, this is it. The growling vocals are an incredible dichotomy to the music. What a masterpiece!
Overall, five stars to the songs, production, mix, and mastering! So, get in line to get your copy when this album releases on July 23rd!
Sleep Waker is
- Hunter Courtright on vocals
- Jake Impellizzeri on guitars
- Jason Caudill on guitars
- Aaron Lutas on bass
- Frankie Mish on drums
Check out 110 Minutes on YouTube: