Seven Sisters of Sleep are slowly becoming one of the most revered acts on the A389 roster. With new record Opium Morals under their belts and future releases coming via Feast Of Tentacles and the mouthwatering A389 RSD offering, this promises to be their year. The ten tracks stowed away on this record promise a mixture of caustic hardcore and smouldering sludge.
1. Ghost Plains
3. The Flock
5. Sunday Mass Grave
7. Reaper Christ
8. White Braid
9. Recitation Fire
10. Part 2
The metallic roar of feedback greets you as Ghost Plains rings out of the speakers. This gives way to some of the heaviest sludge ridden hardcore you're likely to hear this year. The vocals are deep bellows that morph into screams; the guitars/bass thrash out low riffs and drums just simply flail in controlled chaos. The crescendoing melody that's occasionally let loose by the guitars are worth waiting for too, heralding a grooved-out depravity. Before you know it, the opener has come and gone and Moths is taking over. There's no gap between the songs, so they flow perfectly into one another. That brooding melody is there again and with the extended instrumental passage, it just builds your anticipation further. That anticipation is about to spill over as the vocals burst into sight and the heaviness reaches the next level. Only two tracks in and already blown away!
It's actually really hard pinpointing SSOS's genre, so I'm not going to bother. If you like the slower, hallucinogenic strains of hardcore then chances are you'll find solace in Opium Morals. They have a tendency to play shorter songs too, preferring to go for the jugular straight away instead of going round the houses to get their. Grindstone is a great example of this, with a pace that thrusts more urgency into the record. I'm trying to think of the last time I heard a record as powerful as this and I really can't! The thrash elements and blastbeats keep going during Sunday Mass Grave, which is crushing beyond belief, even as it fades out at the end. The brief rest between Sunday Mass Grave and Orphans is rudely interrupted by more ringing feedback. Orphans doesn't quite have the same impact in its delivery but that's only due to SSOS playing around with time signatures, which break up the power in a fluid way.
They just keep on hitting the spot as they blast through Reaper Christ and Recitation Fire. White Braid has one of the craziest opening riffs I've hard in ages too. Part 2 pretty much ends Opium Morals in the same way it began and leaves you feeling like you've just been beaten continuously with a baseball bat, such is the impact of this record. I think that in-spite of its obvious heaviness; Opium Morals is a simple album. It's not overdone and SSOS don't fill it with unfocused ideas. They stick to what they know and just play it well, proving that you don't have to beard-strokingly obscure to write a huge sounding record.
If you haven't already, you can listen to the whole album via the A389 bandcamp page below:-