Sleep of Monsters – Produces Reason


pic: Niklas Kapanen / Nakkertton Photography

With dark beauty and compelling drama oozing from every note and syllable, Produces Reason is one of those creative emprises which almost deviously seduce ears and imagination. It is a proposition stocked to the rim with rapturous melodies and harmonies but of often within a frame of predatory rhythms and voracious intensity which intimidate as they entrance. Released by Finnish metallers Sleep of Monsters, the album is gothic rock in its most accessible and fiercely inventive incitement. Already available and greedily devoured in the band’s homeland, the album recently had its worldwide release through Svart Records and it is fair to say that already passions are submitting and appetites becoming greedy for album and its creators.

To be honest it is no surprise, Produces Reason is a riveting collection of individual dark dances united in the creative theatre cast by the Helsinki band. Equally there is maybe no shock due to Sleep of Monsters being the brainchild of ex- Babylon Whores vocalist Ike Vil. Other than his startlingly distinctive tones there is no real similarity between the two bands though, the former a raw and voracious death rock confrontation and Sleep Of Monsters a blazing seduction of melodic grandeur and tenacious gothic temptation, but experience and adventure never loses its potency. Alongside Vil, the band sees the equally skilled invention of guitarists Sami Hassinen (formerly of Blake) and Uula Korhonen, bassist Mäihä, drummer Pätkä Rantala (who played on HIM’s acclaimed debut album), and Janne Immonen on keys. It is a creative powerhouse but to that there are also The Furies, a trio of vocal sirens going under the names Hanna Wendelin, Nelli Saarikoski, and Tarja Leskinen, who soar across and spice songs with a part angelic part devilish seduction. As evidenced by the Pekka Laine (LAB, 45 Degree Woman) produced album, it is a combination blurring lines between the darkest romances and the brightest emotional consumptions in enthralling songs which have little problem igniting the imagination.

Produces Reason begins with the brief ethereal harmonic lure of Holy Holy Holy, thirty five seconds where The Furies seduce ears and thoughts into the arms of the album and the following Nihil Nihil Nihil. A mesmeric guitar sculpted melody opens up the song before the bulging sinews of rhythms and imposing riffs join its coaxing. As ears swiftly come to realise, every moment is just that in a passage of a song, a breath in a continual evolution which here sees a mellow yet fiery stroll with infectious arms surrounding the impressing tones of Vil. At its darkest twists and especially the chorus, Sisters Of Mercy come to mind and in its most charming mellower moments the song is simply fresh and spicy ingenuity. With pungent beats and the haunting harmonies of the ladies as potent as the fiery guitar endeavour and lead vocals, the track is an immense start to the release swiftly matched by Abomination Street.10689922_618393148275006_5434782575254450074_n

The third track is another unafraid to show its sinews but also explores a flavoursome eighties synth pop adventure, keys and vocals combining at numerous points to brings thoughts of Blancmange to mind. The accompanying press release describes the album as bulging with “radio-friendly” songs and as much as that term annoys, it is easy to see where they are coming from with this and its predecessor alone. Every moment is an anthemic and ridiculously catchy proposal yet not to the detriment of venomous shadows, dark places and thoughts explored as swiftly shown again by Murder She Wrote. There is a Victoriana air of danger and dankness to the opening bass resonance, the suggestiveness soon joined by the expressive tones and narrative of Vil within the emotional embrace of darkly dramatic keys. As the song expands and grows so does the tension and sinister theatre of the track, as well as noir lit adventure in the imagination. It is a glorious proposal, guitars adding mesmeric flames whilst vocals croon with depth and elegance.

The tense atmosphere of Christsonday comes next, its classic metal colouring a rich flame within the gothic breath of the song. Again, and it is fair to say it pleasingly toys with most songs, there is an eighties tinge to essences within the imposing and descriptive ambience of the track. It provides a canvas for thoughts to colour and an aural painting for ears to immerse in, before making way for the sweltering heat of Our Savage God. Striding resourcefully within a sultry climate with contagious enterprise, the track is irresistibly sensational. Think Chris Isaak and Helldorado meets Pete Wylie and equipped with one of the most ridiculously catchy and inescapable choruses possible, the track puts its head above the rest of the peaks filling the album.

Horses Of The Sun grips body and mind next, its opening tribal coaxing as shamanic as it is satanic, The Furies’ enticing aligned to an intimidating rhythmic baiting as menacing as it is hypnotic. The song evolves from here into an intensive impassioned croon with vocals and keys a prominent seduction, the track like a merger of Walker Brothers and Poets of the Fall as it unveils another beauteous aspect to the landscape of the album.

The engrossing adventure and drama of Through A Mirror Darkly is next, the song infusing Eastern mystique in a fiery melodic flight with has a loud whisper of The Mission to it. Its triumph is followed by the fascinating melodic and vocal evocation of Cobwebs Of Your Mind, another song also recalling elements of Wayne Hussey and co. It should be stated though that for all the references offered every song emerges as something unique to Sleep of Monsters, just they come with excitingly familiar whispers.

The album closes with the magnetic smouldering of Magick Without Tears, a track which ebbs and flows like waves lapping the senses, every strong wash of sound and emotions bringing thick resonance and virulent drama. Produces Reason does have an additional bonus track not on its Finnish release, the song being I Am The Night Color Me Black which continues keeping the appetite contented though it has yet to convince as successfully as the other songs on the album.

Babylon Whores was an underrated and for many an undiscovered confrontation but it is hard to imagine Sleep Of Monsters slipping under the broadest radar, especially after releasing easily one of the year’s best debuts in the transfixing shape of Produces Reason.

Produces Reason is available now via Svart Records @

RingMaster 05/12/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The House Of Capricorn – Morning Star Rise

Photo Credit Cerulean Empire

If the horned one has a house warming party the day he moves in and consumes the world, there are plenty of candidates to provide the musical incitement; a list sure to have The House Of Capricorn near the top. The New Zealand devil rock trio release their new album Morning Star Rise this week and it is a proposition which wears the apocalypse as a smouldering seduction, a tantalising glaze to the band’s rock ‘n’ roll tapestry of doom, gothic and stoner rock. The release is a masterful protagonist for dark deeds and blackened hearts, a bewitching evocative hex sounding like the son of a satanic union between Type O Negative, Dommin, Babylon Whores, and Sisters Of Mercy. Even that description does not touch the black hearted toxicity which coats every note and syllable but it does suggest the melodic and deceptive satanic alchemy fuelling the outstanding encounter, the album radiantly inviting as its sound and intent feeds on the soul.

Formed in 2001 and hailing from Auckland, The House of Capricorn set free the self-released The Rivers And The Rain EP in 2006 as their first temptation, but it was with first album Sign Of The Cloven Hoof four years later that the band stirred real attention within a wider spotlight. It was followed the next year by In The Devil’s Days, the album reinforcing the increasingly darker explorations began with its predecessor. Now the threesome of vocalist Marko Pavlovic, guitarist Scott Blomfield, and drummer Michael Rothwell have cast their most riveting collection of satanic hymns yet for one of the most thrilling possessions of the year.

The Road to Hell is Marked makes the first enticement of ears and psyche, the track bounding in on swinging beats and a carnivorously snarling bassline entwined with an instantly engaging if acidic groove. It is a magnet for the imagination, the opening intimidation swiftly bursting into a creative punk like brawl as Pavlovic roars from within a tenaciously aggressive sonic confrontation. An element of Volbeat plays with thoughts but only as whispers behind the outstanding Pete Steele like dark harmonies the vocals grace the lyrical infestation with. Anthemic and contagious, the opener is a salacious but controlled stomp teasing with a scorching solo and that ever grumbling bass sound which enslaves appetite and emotion.

The brilliant start is matched swiftly by the fire and brimstone of In Light of Lucifer, the track stepping down a gear in attack but increasing the dosage of toxic grooves and vocal tempting. The 143228track prowls and taunts with its gait and hypnotic sounds, an imposing resonance leaking from every pore whilst the guitars cast a web of virulent hooks and grooves within the thick doom loaded smog. As the previous songs and those to follow, there is a diversity of sound and textures making up the offering but whatever the spices the song, as the album, is simply rock ‘n’ roll at its voracious best.

Our Shrouded King is another bellow of sound and demonic intent, riffs and rhythms an uncompromising confrontation tempered by the sultry temptation of grooves and expressive vocals. Hints of Misfits/Samhain flirt with thoughts as do more loudly those of Type O Negative but there is no escaping the rich and imposing tones of seventies classic metal kicking up a storm within the swamp of enterprise and incendiary emotion squalling within the track. Its invitingly corrosive maelstrom makes way for the slower predation of Ashlands, it an initially agitated intimidation which emerges as a broad and funereal examination of imagination and emotions. The track is a glorious dark seducing, a drone kissed croon in sound and voice which consumes the senses with a post punk haunting and gothic rock elegance before making its way to angst soaked expulsions of raw vocals and blacker sonic depths. The song is as meditative as it is emotionally toxic, and quite riveting.

Both The Only Star in the Sky and Ivory Crown continue the exhilarating infestation, the album remaining on its lofty plateau of persuasion with consummate ease. The first of the two has an essence of The Mission to its melodic tempting whilst rhythmically and in the growling bass lures, a tinge of early Killing Joke. Again they are mere whispers in the fascinating creative embrace of an inescapable contagion. If this is an infectious suasion its successor is primal seducing with its Sisters of Mercy like chorus and blackened glamour, though overall as the song blossoms and tempts with melodic and female harmonies inflaming ears and passions, it enthrals more like a distant cousin of The Mission’s track Severina, a plus in anyone’s book.

The hazier climate and sonic colour of Watching Angels Fall comes next, the song as magnetic strolling relentlessly or welling up with tsunami like energy for impassioned dark crescendos. Its adventurous instinct leads the listener into a noir lit plane of sonic enterprise and provocative ruffled calm at one point, an almost wrong-footing turn before re-establishing its authority with the returning tide of torrential tiffs and rhythms. A slow burner compared to others on the album but soon another peak, it is followed by the atmospheric instrumental Covenants Ark, an intriguing and thought provoking piece of stark wasteland bred ambience leading to final epic emprise Dragon of Revelations. Over nine minutes long, the track is a cavernous journey into a dark unknown and destructive malevolence but lit with the transfixing smouldering tones of Pavlovic and a reflective streaming of sonic colour from Blomfield. It is a doom drenched exploration, oppressive and enchanting simultaneously and a sublime end to an exceptional release.

Morning Star Rise is majestic, colossally gloomy and fearsome but equally captivatingly infectious and spellbinding. When the apocalypse comes The House of Capricorn will have no fears, they will riding to the fore with wide grins and instruments sound-tracking the end of days.

Morning Star Rise is available now via Svart Records on vinyl @, on CD @ or digitally @

RingMaster 02/12/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from