Review: “Blood Libel” by Sleepless

In the late 1980’s Eric Detablan (Drums) and Eric Dorsett (Bass) were original members of a pioneering Death Metal act called Dead Conspiracy, who wrote and recorded what is known as “Dead Conspiracy ’87 demo“, which has to go down as five of the most ear-splitting, skull dragging pieces of necro-sound of that era. In 2020 that rhythm section dusted down their instruments and joined forces with their old friend, guitarist, singer and producer Kevin Hahn (Dead Conspiracy, Poison Idea, Panzer God). Together they formed a brand new outfit called Sleepless with the purpose of writing Heavy Metal inspired by an internal need to slam accepted dogma and to shed light on a dark past that is largely forgotten.

Just because Dead Conspiracy were Death Metal doesn’t mean that Sleepless are by any stretch of the imagination. Instead with debut EP “Blood Libel“, the trio take inspirations from more Traditional Metal and Thrash acts like Witherfall, Sanctuary and Iced Earth for their creations. “The Man Who Could Not Sleep” has a few odd time signatures in places while harnessing a distinctively 80’s nostalgic Thrash sound with blazing leads and some vocal moments which give Joseph Michael a run for his money. “Host Desecration” continues that vibe with a few Black Sabbath inspired riffs while opening up the circle pit for the chorus. The post-chorus however is this eerie almost reversed sounding instrumental burst that sounds like it belongs to a band like The Dillinger Escape Plan, with strange and haunting qualities before the band burst back into their usual sound. Those little instrumental nuances litter the whole EP and add an embellishment that is an unexpected guilty pleasure in its strangeness. Rattling the cage with “Deluded Hordes” which has a solid dirge riff sludge overlaid with glorious leads that will require a second guitarist in the fold if they’re going to play these songs live. The whammy bar gets fully utilized during “Blood Libel (A Vampire Tale)” as Hahn shows off some storytelling capabilities, playing the role of a Vampire spilling the blood of Christian hordes. For a classic Traditional Metal style cut that rhythm section comes into its own and by the end you’re left wanting more [7/10]

Track listing

  1. The Man Who Could Not Sleep
  2. Host Desecration
  3. Deluded Hordes
  4. Blood Libel (A Vampire Tale)

Blood Libel” by Sleepless is out 12th March via Necromantic Press Records

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