Posts Tagged ‘The Sleeping Shaman’

Album of the Day: Death Penalty – S/T

Posted on Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: He’s blessed us with the classics – Forest Of Equilibrium, The Ethereal Mirror, The Carnival Bizarre, Endtyme – the list goes on; as the main songwriter and penultimate “riff-finder general” for legendary doom outfit Cathedral, the name Gaz Jennings has been synonymous with skull crushing groove for the greater part of 25 years.

And as with most class acts, accolades and the spotlight have been secondary to sacrifice – the art of doubling down for the greater good of metal. When Cathedral bowed out after 2013’s The Last Spire, they were arguably at their most focused in years, churning out a swansong that, while not their best, was easily a contender for top props in the band’s back catalogue. Some thought the break was premature, but (Lee) Dorrian and Co opted not to overstay their welcome, deeming the doom metal country fully charted and conquered.

death penalty - self titled

Fast forward to Chapter 2, Verse 1 in “The Book of Gaz” – aka Death Penalty. With Dorrian’s urging, Jennings recruited some Belgian backing in fellow Rise Above (label) veterans SerpentcultMichelle Nocon (vocals) and Frederik “Cozy” Cosemans (drums), with the addition of Raf Meukens on bass – to bring life to the “bits and bops” (a Jennings term that’s hilariously awesome) accumulated since the late 90s.

But let’s get one thing straight: this self titled debut ain’t no Cathedral ‘part deux’. It would be unfair and frankly shortsighted to consider it as such. Just tune in to Nocon’s piercing banshee assault on the heavily metallic ass-kicking opener Howling At The Throne Of Decadence and you’ll see that handling the creative reins on this hate campaign is a shared duty; in fact, Jennings gave Nocon full creative license on all the vocal melodies for the album (of note, the title track on their debut 7” Sign Of Times was the only exception, where Jennings had complete control).

She brings some grit, angst, and nut-crushing muscle to the table; charismatic for sure, and her delivery carries many of the album’s cuts, making a track like Children Of The Night timelessly cool. Originally written for The Last Spire, the song is the closest thing to Cathedral on the record – lumbering grooves, heavy as hell head-banging battery and then Nocon’s croon – surprisingly smooth and laid back; with her near operatic harmonizing during the bridges, I couldn’t imagine this track done justice in any other setting.

Continue reading: Death Penalty – S/T – CD/LP/DD 2014 | The Sleeping Shaman

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Album of the Day: Yob – Clearing The Path To Ascend

Posted on Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: It’s been a long, hard road for Yob, an uphill journey beset with obstacles – the first lineup of the band breaking up, subsequent legal issues around mainman Mike Scheidt’s interrim band Middian and Scheidt’s own struggles with his personal demons – but ever […]

Album of the Day: Fórn – The Departure Of Consciousness

Posted on Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: The Departure of Consciousness is the soundtrack to collapse – the slow, final collapse of a dying relationship, the slow cascade of brick and mortar from a collapsing building or the terrifying claustrophobia of the inward collapse of the human mind, all are evoked […]

Album of the Day: Funerary – Starless Aeon

Posted on Monday, August 25th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: Funerary are still relatively unknown, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t talented. In fact, the underground has always been a place full of exciting talents a lot of people aren’t aware of. Thanks to the Internet, its now easier to discover and explore them. […]

Album of the Day: Lonely Kamel – Shit City

Posted on Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: It’s still unusual to find that one of Europe’s strongest exports of desert rock, especially with a name like Lonely Kamel, hails from the frost-bitten lands of Norway, culturally famed for its black metal output. Yet on the brink of releasing their fourth studio […]

Album of the Day: Pallbearer – Foundations Of Burden

Posted on Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: Pallbearer’s Sorrow and Extinction emerged as the sleeper (metal) album of 2012, eventually finding itself at the top of many end of year best lists and burned into the minds of listeners new to the scene; unfortunately, the signature strengths that define the core […]

Album of the Day: The Heads – Everyone Knows That We Got Nowhere

Posted on Monday, August 18th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: I shit you not, you goggle-eyed loons, but Bristol’s legendary (yet strangely unsung) psych-heroes The Heads are possibly the definitive uber-cult stoner-psych band of the late 20th/ early 21st century. I have a hunch that possibly the majority of people reading this review have […]

Album of the Day: The Great Sabatini – Dog Years

Posted on Monday, July 28th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: Montreal’s The Great Sabatini are one of the latest additions to the excellent French label Solar Flare Records’ roster, and with label mates ranging from Sofy Major to Pigs, you could probably hazard a guess before hearing them that they’re going to enjoy damaging […]

Album of the Day: Ancient Altar – S/T

Posted on Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: When Los Angeles, CA doom instrumentalist quartet Iron Mtn ended its 7+ year stint back in June of 2013, loyal fans and followers of bassist / founder Scott Carlson (and his team of sludge assassins) mourned with the hope (and expectation) that his next […]

Album of the Day: Earthless Meets Heavy Blanket – In A Dutch Haze

Posted on Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: You never forget your first Roadburn. Ever. The Tilburg-based jewel in the world’s crown of heavy and expansive music festivals is a truly magical environment; one which is built upon a solemn promise of musical joy, artistic freedom and non-prejudicial acceptance which binds like-minded […]

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