Review: Sleep Of Monsters ‘ΓΓΓ’

Appearances can be deceptive. Sometimes face value just won’t cut it, and delving deeper is the best way forward. This is especially true of Finland’s Sleep Of Monsters, who I took, based on the music, to be maybe from the Mediterranean, or Eastern Europe, when in fact their closest neighbours include Sweden and Norway. I’ve reviewed quite a few Swedish bands now, and based on sounds, I had them elsewhere on the map.

Sleep Of Monsters ‘ΓΓΓ’

In part, I put it down to some of the elements musically, especially picking up on sounds akin to both Spanish and Greek bands usually. That being said, there were a few irregularities, especially in that they do seem to pull towards that Epica, and Delain, even if the lead vocal is male. It nudges towards that whole symphonic metal vibe with big, bombastic anthems, all-embracing, and crowd-pleasing at festivals.

Now, this isn’t usually my go to, as much as I like bands like The Gathering, and Lacuna Coil, those are my line in the sand. I struggle to get on with the bands which step into this operatic area of metal, and so, I will tread gently, for fear of upsetting anyone.

Having been to Wacken Open Air festival a couple of times now, I know that this is the type of band that will see the crowd pleased, so if you know that festival, and enjoy it, then this will be a bit of you.

ΓΓΓ is their third album, and I can imagine is a worthy progression for them. It is very listenable, and over the course of the ten tracks, it will fully immerse you into a world of mystique, and mystery. It has a charm which is undeniable, and while it isn’t totally my thing, it’s still incredibly versatile.

Black Blacker Than Black is a prime example. A full-on slab of heavy goth rock, it is everything you would come to expect from this style of band. Anthemic choruses and full-on punchy verses will please fans, while if you are new to the table, this should pull you in for sure. At times I pull at hints of Megadeth, but that doesn’t mean this is a thrash song, more that it has that sort of vibe. The mix of male and female vocals is a nice touch, as it breaks up the full-on male vocal.

Anthemic choruses and full-on punchy verses…

Tracks such as Language of The Birds are more Norse in vibe, and hint towards those folk vibes. This is where the band splits itself between the styles and is where I confuse myself as to the heritage of the band for sure. It pulls towards a ‘70s folky prog vibe too, which has me looking towards bands such as Skyclad in comparison.

I am quite taken with Melinoe, which seems to take the band off on a different path. This time the dominating vocal is female which changes the vibe completely. It has a large sound to it, and with wailing guitar, and thunderous drums, certainly does strike a chord with me.

Other highlights include Nyktophoros and Mother Of Phantoms, both of which show a more versatile side to the band. I guess with so many members offering input, it must be hard for everyone to be heard, but with this, it feels like multiple voices have been heard at the ideas stage. While Nyktophoros pushes a full band experience, complete with guttural growls, Mother Of Phantoms seems to have some flamenco in the mix, and a passionately delivered vocal, as sultry as it is intoxicating.

The biggest surprise, however, is during track ten, Ivory And Horn. After an initial set-up where the vocal takes precedence on proceedings, far outweighing the music, there is a passage of instrumental wonder as the final third plays through. At this point, things really step up a notch, and it’s here where I find my favourite part of the whole album. There is a hard-edged string breakdown, where what sounds like a fiddle and cello get an opportunity to shine and do so with a vigour which pushes the sound completely. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last very long, but this little segment is, for me, the absolute pinnacle of the whole album. It’s a real shame this isn’t evident so much over the rest of the album, because boy is it incredible.

Now, in summary, I want to say that this is by no means anything but a superb little album, and while there are elements I would have personally wanted more of, it is a revelation to hear. While not everyone’s cup of tea, it is still a wonderful album, and if this euro goth symphonic thing is your kind of thing, you need to check this album out, I’m sure you will love it.

Label: Svart Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Lee Beamish