SLEEPY HOLLOW - TALES OF GODS AND MONSTERS
(Pure Steel Records)
Review by Officer Nice
Sleepy Hollow…. US Metal from a fine level since many years. Yes, their first EP is dated 1990 so this ain’t at all a band of youngsters. I have all of their CD’s in my collection but I assure you it wasn’t always that easy to purchase them. But, as a big fan of US Metal, I wanted them so hard that I finally found them all and I don’t regret it. Last time I have talked about the band was when Bob Mitchell joined them to record “Skull 13”. I met Bob once in Germany, as singer from Attacker, friendly guy and in real life a nurse, did you know that?
After a first spin I notice Bob isn’t the singer anymore. A quick search learns the band replaced him by a man that listens to the name of Chapel Stormcrow. A weird name and totally unknown to me but it doesn’t take long before I get to like this man. His vocals are bizarre yet this man contains a strong pair of pipes that fits the music so well. His strong, low sounding, lungs give Sleepy Hollow some special kind of cachet. I don’t know if you know what I mean but let me try to explain. Actually his lower kind of vocal lines are giving the band some psychedelic Chapel Stormcrow touch and the result is some superb US Metal. Sleepy Hollow composed and performed on this one great melodic tracks with all hooks, refrains and leads on the right spots. Musical wise Sleepy Hollow is top on this record and to me this is their best effort ever.
From the first notes until the last I really enjoyed “Tales of Gods And Monsters” and for some reason – talking musical wise – the music, the front cover and the title of this album fits perfectly with each other. Once and a while there’s a band that reaches the goal to melt together all these elements, to create something special and to me Sleepy Hollow just did. This one touches my soul and I am sure I will not be the only one who’s impressed. This album works on my mood, just the way I like it! The dark, a bit apocalyptic, atmosphere overwhelms me and is the reason I refuse to take it out of my CD-player.
It means that Sleepy Hollow delivers an album that leaves an impression. The riffs and leads are composed and performed in some special kind of atmosphere and this tastes very good. The band lifted itself up to a higher level and I can only hope the entire underground Metal movement will hear about them now. Musical wise I get the same thrills I received from the last Winter’s Bane and the early Jacob’s Dream releases. Mix it a bit with Saviour Machine, the early Candlemass or Solitude Aeturnus attitude, without considering this as Doom Metal, and you’ll get close to what Sleepy Hollow means nowadays. Fans of the old Metal Church, Zaxas, old Seven Witches etc. can only be happy with this one. Chapel Stormcrow’s vocals might be comparable with Chaz Bond’s (Jacob’s Dream) vocal sound actually, but better to me.
This release is full of great songs that needs a bit of your time. This isn’t the kind of record you will adapt after one spin but I am so sure that those heavy loaded riffs will seduce you! Also those intense played leads are just fantastic! These guitars have a fantastic sound, so pure, so Eighties, so Metal! In combination with these passionate played leads, the technical performed basic lines by bass and drums and of course those powerful vocals it works, at least for me! It is maybe a pity that the band didn’t work out their album with more samples to make the apocalyptic feeling even stronger! But the on the other hand you will witness something pure. Not that Sleepy Hollow stands before a great breakthrough, therefore the scene is too crowded and this music too traditional, but these Americans will be mentioned from now on if we talk about first class US Metal.
This is the kind of Metal I still and always will adore. Of course high screaming voices are still wanted but Sleepy Hollow proves that US Metal can do without. With their new singer I really hope the band will receive the right attention. The new Metal Church and Attacker are coming this year too but Sleepy Hollow already makes 2016 a memorable year for US Metal fanatics. Check these guys out at http://www.sleepyhollowmetal.com. Order at: http://www.puresteel-shop.com/SLEEPY-HOLLOW-Tales-Of-Gods-And-Monsters_1
My rating: 90 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard
50- : Rubbish