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夢遊病者 (Sleepwalker) Demonstrates the Promise of Blackened Psychedelic Metal with “First Utterance”


When entering the schema of psychedelic metal, smokey stages, fringe haircuts, and ten-ton riffs come to mind. While the murky category of doom/stoner/sludge rightfully holds much of the mind-bending glory in this regard, international conglomerate 夢遊病者 suggests that we should not limit the potential for other metal subgenres to get wavy. The project, also known as Sleepwalker, spans perspectives from Japan, Russia, and the United States to create an otherworldly sound. By providing the sharp hiss of black metal with a hypnotic groove, Sleepwalker transcends traditional trippy tropes that we all love, but have perhaps come to know too well.

Since their inception in 2015, Sleepwalker has been hard at work mining experimental feats from the depths of the soul; however, past releases have demonstrated a different kind of catharsis than what is traditionally seen in blackened music. The droning unpleasantries of the everyday captured in the winding guitar solos in 2016s 5572 take on a sinister tone when coupled with touches of distorted whispers. Last year’s drop 一期一会 carries the torch of progressive-style songwriting without necessarily lighting the way to a hopeful arena. With firm track names like “No Premature Celebrations,” Sleepwalker solidifies their positionality in a universe far away from beers, blunts, and billowing 1970s nostalgia.

So, back at it again and chillier than ever, Sleepwalker channels ritualistic dread on their upcoming album Ѫ. “First Utterance” provides a glimpse into the atmosphere that the trio has managed to conjure up, presumably in a distant desert that was quickly losing daylight. With imagery of Crowley-like chaos, the track is pure nightmare fuel with a folksy crunch. While it is difficult to anticipate where one riff may grow into the next, the element of instrumental surprise is what makes Ѫ so highly-anticipated. Check out our stream of “First Utterance” below.

Ѫ releases on April 19th via Sentient Ruin (US) and Babylon Doom Cult Records (EU). Follow Sleepwalker on Bandcamp.

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