|Review: Sleepy Hollow - Tales of Gods and Monsters|
|Tales of Gods and Monsters|
Label: Pure Steel Records
Year released: 2016
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: March 13, 2016
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Tales of Gods and Monsters
Rated 3/5 (60%) (5 Votes)
Well, now the question is: can Sleepy Hollow survive without Bob Mitchell? The man had his detractors, to be sure, but his voice was unique, and put a definite stamp on the band. Now they have to try and forge a new identity without him. After the good reception of Skull 13, the band is poised for a bigger impact.
Musically this is more of the heavy, crunchy US-Metal the band has always played. It's not as bludgeoningly heavy as last time out, but that does allow them more texture and nuance in their riffs, which is welcome. The music here is solid, but I would not really peg it as much better than that. It all sounds a lot alike, and is pretty derivative of their old works. No one song really jumps out at you, but the whole is consistently enjoyable.
Stepping into the vocal spot is Chapel Stormcrow of Delware Doom band Altar of Dagon. He has a very different voice than Mitchell, and it does not really work that well for this album. He has a lot of power and intensity, but his voice is low-pitched and he lacks range, so all the songs have this kind of sameness imposed by his lack of dynamic. He does his best with what he has, and his voice would work well for a Doom band, but this music demands more swoop and drama and variety, and so his limitations deny these songs the individuality they need, making them sound even more alike. Stormcrow sticks with less modulated, atonal melodies that don't catch.
Overall this is a step back for Sleepy Hollow. Their riff-writing remains excellent, and the production is better this time out, but without a wailing frontman with memorable vocal hooks, their music just does not take off.
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