HEAVYDEATH – Eternal Sleepwalker
This Swedish trio accurately portray their style based on their band name alone. "Eternal Sleepwalker" is a 7 song, 52 minute record featuring slow doom with strong death nuances. Guitarist Nicklas Rudolfsson has a dual hypnotic clean voice and equally ripping growl, often intertwining both aspects from line to line (check out "Eat the Sun"). Bassist Johan Bäckman leads the show, his massive low end distortion carrying the aural load and driving the riffs for "Ascending" and the almost 7 minute title track into evil emotional outpourings for torment.
How drummer Daniel Moilanen can cut the tempos into quarter time or eighth-time measures as in "Heavy as Death" and still keep things together is amazing – because there’s no way to mask any screw ups playing this slow. Overall this reminds me of when I first took in the band Winter -if given a Sunlight Studios type production, and then you add in the death dynamics in terms of some of the riff choices or growls. Keeping things basic, letting the feedback distortion or wah wah pedal work add to the weight of certain arrangements like the 8 minute closer "Beyond the Riphean Mountains" or album highlight "Road to the Fire" allows the listener to just sink blissfully into another realm, safe and protected in doom/death darkness.
Grey and black imagery fills the landscape- the cover art giving you a glimpse into what is lurking on the horizon should you dare the venture into Heavydeath’s world. Those who sit in the shadows when it comes to doom/death may not have the patience to handle these anvil constructs – but there will be enough people in the underground who treasure "Eternal Sleepwalker" as the devil’s triumvirate progressions ring loud and clear.