It should be stated, first and foremost, that there are few bands in the metal world who so deftly tap dance up and down the Heavy Metal BPM paradigm the way Southern California’s Seven Sisters of Sleep do. Not just from album to album, or even song to song, but sometimes within the structure of each individual composition. There’s is a world where genre descriptors are merely bumper stickers on the cars they blow past, dead on the roadside, as they travel from influence to influence, pilfering the best of what is offered to them like sonic outlaws and using it to fuel their run. On their newest album, and Relapse debut, Ezekiel’s Hags this quintet of musical mad scientists has concocted a brew so potently heavy and so bereft of limitations it’s simply too good to ignore.
Sharing their moniker with the title of a 19th Century book that gave an, up to that point, long and sordid backstory of humanity’s love of hallucinogenics, Seven Sisters of Sleep certainly have no problem with mind-altering aesthetics and a collective over-active imagination that helps to produce some truly mind-bending moments on their newest opus. From the opening crusty, grinding blasts of album opener, “Jones” to the tremendous doom and death metal inspired tracks that litter the album, such as “Gutter” and “Prey,” Seven Sisters of Sleep have clearly brought their “A” game.
There is no shortness of musical paths this band treads to search for the answers to the universal questions regarding just how heavy and how nasty you can pen a song. For example, look no further than the equally infectious and pummeling one-two punch that closes the album – “War Master” and “Bastard Son” – when searching for examples of just how monolithic this band can take their sound. The slow burn that builds through the first seven minutes of “Bastard Son” eventually releases a torrent of blackened malevolence like a diseased phallus blowing its load. The album starts with a whirlwind of hurricane proportions, finishes with a frigid blast of blasphemy, and in between we are gifted varying degrees of doom meets death meets d-beat, all peppered with a sort of baleful ambiance reserved only for the finest visions of unholy apocalypse.
Far too often bands go out of their way to mix up a menagerie of sounds and styles only to come out of the studio with something that feels wholly contrived. Not here. No, Seven Sisters of Sleep are the real deal and possibly their best work to date awaits your undivided attention. Ezekiel’s Hags is set to be release on February 5. In the meantime you can partake in the tracks “Gutter” and “War Master” at the Seven Sisters of Sleep Bandcamp page.