Sleeping Village may be the ten millionth band to name themselves after a song by a certain heavy metal staple (You only get two guesses) but they actually sound more like Pentagram than anybody else. The massive guitar tone is a dead ringer for Victor Griffin’s downtuned shuffle and the pacing is somewhere between the laid back somberness of the band’s more recent outings and the bravado of the Be Forewarned era.
That said, the New Jersey trio does find ways to not be an exact replica. Tim Gray’s bass playing presents a fuzz counterpoint to the guitars with power beyond any of Pentagram’s numerous bottom-enders. I also don’t think guitarist/vocalist Rick Dal Cortivo’s voice is too derived from Bobby Liebling either; his swagger and subtle drawl actually give him of a resemblance to Kyuss’ John Garcia.
The songs also have quite a bit of variety despite the somewhat derivative writing behind them. “The Puppet Masters” comes in with a steady Obsessed-style groove before giving way to the more foreboding riffs of “Lucky 7’s” and the title track. And as much as bands should stop writing songs called “The End” (Nobody’s ever gonna beat The Doors, guys!), this “The End” is the most interesting track on here due to its atmospheric intro and downtrodden tone.
Overall, Sleeping Village’s debut EP is a lovable if rather derivative first step forward. I can’t help but wonder why it took so long for the band to release Among the Gods considering they formed in 2010, but you could say the same about Pentagram not getting traction until the mid-80s. Either way, classic doom fans should find a lot to enjoy here and it’ll be neat to see where this trio goes from here.
“Among the Gods”