It would seem that for me, Greek bands I like are somewhat akin to buses; you wait ages for one, and then three come along together. Okay, Craang, Planet of Zeus, and subject of this review, Godsleep, may have been around varying lengths of time, but all came to my notice in a comparatively short space of time, and all are now getting, or destined to receive, regular play in the Spenny household.
‘Thousand Sons of Sleep’ is one of those CDs that when it arrived oozed pure class, and had my ears salivating (I really must see a doctor about that!) to hear the music, even though I knew nothing of the band. Despite at time of going to press being a self-released effort, the sleeve is classily and trippily illustrated, likewise the enclosed lyric book, and the CD itself doesn’t have the home burnt CDR look and smell that so many bands in a similar position put out as a physical medium. Blimey, I’m getting all lyrical over the physical medium without yet mentioning the music; at this rate I’ll turn into one of the vinyl hipster types if I’m not careful!
‘The Call’ opens the album with a slow laconic, refrain, the gentle chords and distorted vocals drifting out of the speakers like the parched swirling breeze from the desert the band sings about; truly, it is a call to lay back, relax by your favourite means, be it chemical or meditative, and float away on the music. If Desert Rock is your thing, Godsleep has delivered in spades from the first plucked chord to the last dying note of distortion. After this mellow start, ‘Thirteen’ kicks the listener awake with a massive bass heavy groove, drum barrage and battle cry of vocalist Kostas, the hoarse delivery sounding like take thirteen and dragged from vocal chords made hoarse by a flood of bourbon. This same near shouted style, think an on form Anselmo if you need a comparison, continues with the long meandering follow up ‘Wrong Turn’; indeed, with the THC count turned up high (sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun) in this stoner track, the best efforts of Down comes to mind, the same loose interplay stretched over nine plus minutes between the vocals and instruments constantly threatening to break down and fall apart into a loose jam before bass, drums, and guitar all flow together to create a foggy tidal wave of sludge.
With the first three tracks of the album clocking in at over 25 minutes, and each one a cracker, the band could have easily released them as an EP and received no shortage of praise; instead the listener is treated to the same amount of music again, spread over the remaining four tracks. ‘This Is Mine’ swaggers along with with a confidence far beyond what you could expect on a debut release; ‘I Want You’ brings down the pace and ups the bass to filling rattling levels; whilst ‘Home’ turns up the psyche, almost space rock tripping interspersed with fist a in your face musical pummelling. Closing the album is ‘Feel Like Home’, the shortest and in many ways mellowest track on the album, a suitable relaxant after the adrenaline rushes of previous tracks.
Whilst only their debut release, with ‘Thousand Suns of Sleep’ Godsleep have produced and album that deserves to bring them recognition, and with the band announcing a team up with the fledgeling Rock Freak Records label, maybe they will receive it. If Greece had more quality exports like this band, maybe their economy wouldn’t be in the news for such negative reasons so much of the time!