Album Review: Sleep Terror – “Above Snakes” 8.5/10 (Prog Death)

Written by Zax

  • Sleep TerrorAbove Snakes
  • Progressive Death Metal from the United States
  • Released independently on March 26th, 2021
  • 8.5/10

I’ve covered 70 albums on this site, give or take a few, and this is the first instrumental record I’ve ever talked about. That’s not because I dislike instrumental music, I actually listen to a fair bit of it, it just usually doesn’t leave me with enough to say for a full review. This album, on the other hand, is batshit fucking insane. So much so, that I bought a CD copy directly after hearing it.

Sleep Terror are a progressive death metal band out of the U.S. that’s been around since 2002, and in just over 27 minutes, their new record managed to create a combination of sounds that I never thought I’d hear, let alone praise. On this album, they fuse technical death metal with old western music.

Yep, I’m talking warm, swanky motherfucking western music that you’d hear in a saloon somewhere in the American south back in the 50s, mixed with out of this world, speedy, complicated tech death. It couldn’t work, right? Wrong.

These guys are brilliant musicians to have pulled this off. You’d think the sequencing and pacing of an album like this would be off, but it flows rather seamlessly between the two sounds.

The western bits have the attributes I’ve already mentioned plus outside instrumentation, like some horns. The metal on the album is absolutely stunning. It goes by at lightning speed with ridiculous lead work and crushing riffs. Matter of fact, there’s actually some deathcore influence on here with smashing breakdowns here and there, namely on the closing track. Possibly the best thing about this album is the bass work. Man, this album’s low end is lively. Deeply complex, bouncing bass lines run through the entire record.

If you’re in the market for something you’ve never heard before, and probably won’t hear anywhere else, give this album a go! It’s a wild listen, but it’s also a fun one, don’t see enough fun in extreme metal these days.


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