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Venus Sleeps : Demo 2012

Venus Sleeps' demo is something different enough to catch all Space/Stoner Rock fans' attention.

Venus Sleeps is a brand new solo project led by Sie Carroll, from Ireland. Although the band could be put in the same drawer as many of the recent retro-Rock bands, there's still a major distinctive feature that sets it a bit apart: the many space effects that give the music a psychotropic side, an otherworldly aura. There's no keyboard, and all those sounds are made using various effects pedals. Add to that gear a slide guitar and an e-bow and you could almost start to hear what it sounds like: a Stoner Doom version of Hawkwind. Spacey without being too airy and certainly never vapid, Venus Sleeps is a Rock band alright, a Metal band even, to a certain extent: the potent, fleshy riffing spells that out quite clearly.

The voice is the second characteristic feature of this project: a high-pitched voice, slightly blurred by an echo effect it reminds me a bit of Paul Chain's, to give you an idea. As a singer, Sie Carroll cleverly modulates his phrasing. On 'Burn You Up', he shows he knows how to articulate the lyrics (which turn rather quickly into mantra of some sort, repeated again and again) and to give them a lot of rhythm. The riff is held throughout, with slight variations. The psychedelic dimension that the space effects, the fuzz and the overdrive bring about is kept under control by the dominant Hard Rock leaning, which shows in the riffing and the great Desert Rock-style solo at the end of the song. That's a very convincing opening track, for sure!

The beginning of 'Dawn of Nova' is more oppressive. Like a black, serpentine and threatening beast: heavier riff, anxious effects. Considering these promises, what follows is relatively disappointing: it's a very Sabbathian riff; very common, to be honest. Fortunately, the voice takes the song to more personal grounds. Blurred by the reverb, sounding a bit fragile, it gives both tracks a raspy and unexpected side. The next part is pure Stoner Doom, heavy and fat, which lies on a big riff repeated over and over again with a small variation in the last part and a Hawkwind-esque touch brought about by the guitar effects.

In conclusion, out of these two songs, the first one is clearly the better one - better thought-out from start to finish, while the second one is lacking in some ideas and boldness. That being said, this demo is on the whole really good, and above all, something different enough to catch all Space/Stoner Rock fans' attention.

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Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Burn You Up
2. Dawn of Nova

Duration : Approx. 16 minutes

Visit the Venus Sleeps bandpage.

Reviewed on 2013-01-14 by Bertrand Marchal
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