Sleeping in Gethsemane

As regular readers of this site may know, I’m generally not a huge fan instru-metal or instrumental metal as I feel vocals are an integral part of metal. However, with the likes of Scale the Summit, Animals As Leaders, Shelter Red and North Dakota’s Sleeping In Gethsemane, my stance may be softening a little.

Admittedly, it was after seeing this three piece open for Battlefields at a recent local show that made me curious about their recorded output, as their live performance was spectacular. Musically, Scale the Summit is a close comparison, as Sleeping In Gethsemane aren’t your typical post rock, shoe gazer act, but a more progressive, energetic and up tempo instrumental act. There are still plenty of delicate, introspective, acoustic moments and the expected ebbs and builds of a post rock act, but on the whole the music is more about shifting, shimmering guitar work of Brandon LaPlante and elegant yet fierce drumming of Shane Heilman (who was just stunning in a live setting). LaPlante even delivers distant, away from the mic roars here and there (“Always a Triumph”, “We Refuse to Envy Mars”), giving me even more reason to dig this.

The 8 tracks and 48 minutes of music that comprises Burrows is all exquisite. With no song overstaying its welcome and with each track delivering a cascading, layered tones that are either more laid back and relaxing (“Love as an Expression of Gravity”, “Interlude”) or more urgent and jangly but still enigmatic structures such as “Always a Triumph”, “Temperance”, “Applauding Arrival of the End” and “We Refuse to Envy Mars”.

Also, despite the bands moniker (From Wikipedia; “Gethsemane was a garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem most famous as the place where Jesus and his disciples prayed the night before Jesus’ crucifixion”) there are no religious contexts anywhere within the music, allowing the listener to simply revel in the artistry of the instrumentation.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 27th, 2009


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