DEAD SWANS - Sleepwalkers

Dead Swans - Sleepwalkers

12 songs
28:16 minutes
***** **
Bridge Nine


Signed by a label that is well known for releasing quality US hardcore, Dead Swans are somewhat exotic, considering they are from Brighton and London in the United Kingdom, a rather unusual place for expecting this sound nowadays. Therefore it doesn’t surprise that this young band that was only founded in 2006 has a slightly different sound from their label mates.

Sleepwalkers is their debut longplayer and offers a short half hour of furious hardcore music, with most of the dozen featured songs opting for a lightning fast pace that will keep the listener breathless. The vocals have hysterical quality to them, full of screams and anguish that make for a cathartic mood. Sometimes we get even more laid back moments with undistorted guitars that serve well not necessarily as the calm before the storm, but rather short breaks between hurricanes.

Don’t expect any American styled gang shouts, because Dead Swans are clearly a more modern sounding band, fortunately not trying though to jump on the metalcore bandwagon. Instead this is a well balanced hybrid between Nineties hardcore and contemporary screamo, with a metallic edge to spice up the mix.

Although Sleepwalkers is a rather interesting album, and definitely a surprisingly mature effort for a newcomer band, Dead Swans still have to work on those parts that make the overall impression more memorable. There is a lot of ferocity, anger, pain and other negative emotions woven into their songs, but they still lack occasional melodies or catchy hooks that would make the access easier. This way you need to make it a couple of times through Sleepwalkers before you finally get it. I am convinced that the Brits will work on this issue and hope that they will continue on this already very promising path.

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