SLEEPLESS “Host Desecration”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Longtime greybeards of the underground metal scene may recall the name of DEAD CONSPIRACY surfacing back in pre-internet days. That Portland outfit were pioneers of the death metal scene but never broke through to any kind of major impact. Lo and behold, after many years, members of that band re-emerge in SLEEPLESS. But beware, for this is a much different beast!

SLEEPLESS is more of a power/thrash metal unit with some unpredictable progressive leanings. It’s not death metal, but there’s a strong thrash feel in much of the tuneage here, even if things never totally cross over into utter speed worship. I like the band’s sound! It’s crunchy to the max and the emphasis is on strong riffs and dexterous time changes. Think of a combination of NEVERMORE and HEATHEN! Things start strong with “The King Who’s Not There” and continue on roughly the same path for the rest of the album, which gets very heavy at times. Listen to the throbbing pulse of “There’s Something In the Fog” and “Blood Libel” for proof. The vocals are melodic and remind me a lot of HEATHEN in approach.

Most of the tracks are nice and compact, which is a welcome development. The sole exception is “The Man Who Could Not Sleep”, which sees SLEEPLESS at their most adventurous, with an almost MESHUGGAH like mathematical riffing at times. SLEEPLESS is a far cry from DEAD CONSPIRACY but in their own way, they are just as worthy and have come up with a strong album for fans of American power metal and technical thrash.