Blood Libel

As much as I love the opportunity to promote new, young metal acts trying to make their way in an increasingly difficult world, it’s just as gratifying to help spread the word about a group of older dogs out here trying out new tricks, trying to push through and re-make a name for themselves with a different endeavor.

Sleepless is the product of bassist Eric Dorsett and drummer Eric Detablan, both of legendary Death/Gore Metal pioneers Dead Conspiracy, along with long-time friend, guitarist and producer Kevin Hahn. Together, they’re bringing the world a really cool little slab of technical Thrash/Heavy Metal with enough of that down n’ dirty Dead Conspiracy scum to keep things really fun and gritty. Bring on the bangers!

It doesn’t take very long for the band to put their brand on full display. Opening track “The Man Who Could Not Sleep” hits with a blend of thrashy, intricate Megadeth-inspired riffs (including a VERY Mustaine-like chuggy/spoken word-y break at the 1:40 mark), and some Death Metal-inspired rumbling, and those tried-and-true Heavy Metal gallops that make every self-respecting metalhead happy while listening to Maiden and Priest. Layered over all this is Kevin Hahn’s distinctive, Belladonna-like tenor that, admittedly, might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but I like just fine. Not the strongest part of the band’s sound, but to these ears, by no means a detractor.

“Host Desecration” keeps the pace going, adding in some subtle synth overlays that play nicely over the song’s more Death Metal-leaning front end, taking some cues from Schuldiner and Co. before switching into some subtle, experimental guitars over blast beats that signal a transition back to the band’s thrashier elements. That sweet kind of interplay shows itself aplenty on following track “Deluded Hordes,” the band’s most aggressive offering. After a speedy start, the band and launches into a nice, heavy chug – one of my favorite (among many) riffs packed into this little EP. I also love the friggin’ righteous, pure fuckin’ rock-out guitar licks towards the end of the song. Ostentatious? A little. But that’s what makes them so goddamn fun! RIP ON, HAHN.

The band rounds out Blood Libel with the title track, a short and sweet tune about a Vampire’s love of “the blood of Christian whores.” My totally necro inner-self is positively giddy. Again, it’s another really fun track that ultimately sees the EP out in a real flurry, providing an abrupt end that, nonetheless, leaves me very excited to see what these guys bring to the table next. I’m pumped.

No Earths shattered, no games changes, just good, solid metal brought to you by veteran musicians who are very good at their craft. Sometimes, that’s more than enough, and in this case, it’s a welcome addition to my catalog. Check this thing out for yourself and keep an eye out for whatever they bring next – I know I’m looking forward to it.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Steve K
April 14th, 2021


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