From time to time Karmageddon Media’s second division New Aeon Media spits out true underground gemstones. Swedish SLUMBER are the next try of the Dutch label to bring a band closer to break through and “Fallout” definitely will not send you off to slumber, for that we get far too much in the sound of the sextet, but more about that soon.
Founded in Stockholm in 2000, the band signed with NAM after two demos and the tracks on “Fallout“ mostly are taken off the two demos (2002 and 2003) and have been re-recorded, only “Labyrinth” did not find its way onto the album, while the title track was the only new song on the debut. And the Swedes combine Doom, Gothic and also some Death Metal together, concocting a dark potion that reminds of various other bands, yet always remaining more than just a copy.
Bands that come to mind are RAPTURE, KATATONIA, OPETH or also PARADISE LOST, so the musical direction is pretty clear. Singer Siavosh Bigonah (of Persian descent, as is keyboarder Ehsan Kalantarpour) is mostly following in the footsteps of the early Jonas Renkse (KATATONIA) and sets a rough counter part to the very melancholic and mostly highly melodic compositions, which have an enormous depth, both emotionally and in terms of song writing, clearly showing SLUMBER’s talent.
Opening “Rapture“ is melancholic and slow, with piano and Siavosh’s rough vocals, at times also laying the double-bass underneath the slow rhythms, can compete with RAPTURE (the band) and consorts, even in this early state, especially the piano adds a lot of class and if that had not been enough already, SLUMBER all of a sudden surprise with a Gothic atmosphere and a choir, which reminds me a bit of TRISTANIA, brilliant beginning!
Unfortunately they do not use this choir in the following songs anymore, but even without it SLUMBER can fully convince by roughly taking the sound of a “Black Murder Day” and adding a certain orchestral touch, keeping everything nicely variable and dynamic, cleverly varying the tempo and also implementing the keyboard/piano, what these guys have to offer on their debut – some bands try to achieve that for years and many albums, but without success.
Fans of the mentioned bands should definitely check out “Fallout“ and Karmageddon should definitely promote SLUMBER from New Aeon Media to Karmageddon Media! (Online June 16, 2005)