Sleepwalkers: Love Lost

Is there a point where extreme music and violence is interchangeable, one has to wonder when listening to the debut EP Love Lost from UK metal/hardcore band Sleepwalkers. The release is a wonderfully nasty bruising inventive slab of extreme metal brought with an aggression which should be caged to protect society. The five track release is a towering assault of crushing intensity and distinct imaginative invention within a direct and undisguised destructive nature.

The EP actually had the misfortune of following another extreme metal release from Karybdis which is rather special and highlighted the elements which one could harshly call flaws here. Usually a venture into a different subgenre is the course of things when reviewing so immediate comparisons do not occur but time dictated things though it could not hide the great quality of Love Lost. To get it out of the way the only real problem with the EP and it is as always down to personal tastes is the vocals of Andy Wiggins. He is a strong and more than decent frontman but without diversity in style or delivery his aggressive and demanding shouts verge on the tiresome and distract from the musical prowess and invention around him. At times though things really work well especially with the addition of support vocals even if again shouts, to state all that is needed is a different approach at times and  more variety. It is a growing trend it seems to have the singer just shout with a singular intent and for some like us it threatens to go beyond testing.

The EP opens with Better Than This and corrupts the ear instantly with rampaging rhythms and striking guitar enterprise, the twin attack of Adam Forsythe and Martin Jarrett powering through to the senses with colossal riffs and fine melodic surges of creativity. The track dips and surges in pace whilst maintaining the surest of intensity upon the ear. The song is a strong opener without leaving one dazzled but as the EP progresses it takes care of that.

Blackjack takes no time in winding hungry riffs and melodic tangles around the ear, the track tightening its grip with an increasing brew of enterprise. Drummer Andrew Busby assaults with a military precision and attack to bring a merciless hold as the guitars explore the boundaries of the song and their imagination. The result is a track where predictability and expectation has not even a whisper and compulsion is rife to bring a sure satisfaction.

The excellent Love X Lost is the band at its best on the release. Hypnotic in the extreme and as punishing as any primal storm the track is a hardcore gem with muscles borne from the extreme metal heart of the band. Though not the heaviest of the tracks it is no less powerful and formidable with the promise of the band undeniable. Again there is an ever changing swarm of direction and ideas beneath surface aggression to keep things persistently unpredictable.

The remaining songs The Beggar The Sculpture and The Blessed ensure a no less rewarding or challenging experience. Both treat the senses like punch bags with vindictive rhythms and corrupting riffs whilst oppressing the ear with the fullest intensity. Again the songs stir with explosive inventive twists and melodic curveballs to leave one more than intrigued by what the band is bringing forth and will eventually produce.

Love Lost is a mighty and impressive release from Sleepwalkers which incites a definite close eye on the band. They are still in evolution one feels with all the evident imagination and excellent enterprise at times not quite removing their sound far enough away from other similar bands but with this base to work from they are sure to be a notable force in UK metal.

http://www.sleepwalkersofficial.co.uk/

RingMaster 29/06/2012

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