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Sleestak : The Fall of Altrusia

Sleestak should skim the fat off.

The album blows hot and cold. The music Sleestak play navigates between Stoner Doom and light Post-Rock elements. The sound starts with soft, tranquil chords, then the bubble explodes and here comes the massive bombing: the drums pummel hard, round, and the riffs crush, heavy as anvils. The flow is stubbornly thick, mechanical, unstinting; it is also subdued and almost dignified. That is a predominant feature of the band: its assurance; they play their cards with indifference and calm. Although the game can be risky, theyíll keep their cold blood.

As the album goes on, you hardly notice the tracks passing by, as all is conceived as a solid whole, a journey made of savage eddies punctuated by long aerial driftings... or is it the other way 'round? All along, soft hippy- sounding moods come and hustle the heavy Stoner vibes. A clean, warm male voice sings languid chants on mellow bass, dreamy guitar picking and hypnotic mellotron; the phlegmatic temperament of the English feels at ease in those long waves of optimistic sweetness. They drag throughout vast melancholic spaces where bad feelings are prohibited... till they come back and knock at the door. You canít play Stoner Doom and turn your back to the dark.

The music is made of those contrasts: undulating fragile chords bringing lightness and 70s fantasy, like dew on a petal, are soon diluted in a thick muddy flow of acrimony. Where does the true soul of Sleestak lie? You wonder if youíre not dealing with some schyzophrenic work. The gap is wide between the elastic, evanescent, cottony instrumental parts, all welcoming and dreamy, building no tension, progressing gently, just spreading their (too) lengthy lyrical themes and the boiling dark patterns releasing an enticing power.

In fact, you get the feeling Sleestak are sweet guys that once in a while want to play it tough; maybe they should develop their muscles a bit more because those delicate moods they set, absorbing and kind of hypnotic as they are, can be tiresome as they donít really seem to lead nowhere; soft music can soon turn into vapid music if you indulge too much in blurred, random atmospheric moods. The breaks are scarce on this album, but when they come, brutalizing a bit the ethereal edifice, they shake the earth and bring a vivacity and a virulence that warm up the broth. More glorious parts and less of those versatile monolithic lullabies and it will surely be a big interesting step in the right direction.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. In The Beginning
2. Exiled From The City
3. The Prophecy Of The Great Sleep
4. Regression Within The Hive
5. Disturbance Of The Coccoon
6. The Marshall Prophecy
7. Pakuni Shaman Chant Of The Altrusian Moth

Duration : Approx: ?? minutes

Visit the Sleestak bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-08-12 by Bertrand Marchal
Thermal Mass
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