Void of Sleep are a fairly new band out of Italy who play a mix of doom, stoner, sludge, and psychedelic rock, and their sophomore release is titled Tales Between Reality and Madness, a fitting name for an album that is multi-layered and really chock full of great ideas and stellar execution. Yes, there's no doubt in my mind that Void of Sleep honed their chops on plenty of early '70s Black Sabbath, but it's not all about that here, as the band also do a nice job of channeling Opeth and Mastodon at times, which gives the album plenty of balance and variety from track to track.
While opener "Blood on My Hands" is your standard stoner/doom romp (and a very good one at that) featuring lots of crushing Sabbath/Trouble/Saint Vitus/Pentagram styled riffage, the band turn up the psych and prog for "Wisdom of Doom", a tune that features the heavy bombast no doubt influenced by Mastodon but also the lighter, folky aspects of Opeth, with some intricate arrangements thrown into the mix. "The Great Escape of the Giant Stone Man" contains some killer riffs with plenty of groove (I'm reminded of Grand Magus here), while "Lost in the Void", with it's fat guitar & bass grooves and catchy vocal hooks, is a sure fire bet for any fan of The Sword. Lots of cool psychedelic passages on this 8-minute gem, in addition to some absolutely crushing riffs. On "Ghost of Me" the band goes for a more tradional hard rock/metal sound, and it's a memorable number with some killer guitar work that recalls vintage Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. The dark "Mirror Soul Sickness" is all stoner grooves and Sabbath worship (not that there's anything wrong with that), and closer "Sons of Nothing" is massive, sweaty, psych induced riff-o-rama for lovers of Down and Orange Goblin.
It's always great to hear a band of this nature deliver tunes that are so catchy despite being deliciously heavy. Void of Sleep have a real winner here with Tales Between Reality and Madness. Tons of bombastic, heavy riffs, memorable songs, a great production, and vocals that are a mix of melodic clean, gruff mid-range, and choruses that remind of Testament. Void of Sleep are without a doubt a band that you need to put on your immediate radar.
1. Blood on my Hands
2. Wisdom of Doom
3. The Great Escape of the Giant Stone Man
4. Lost in the Void
5. Ghost of me
6. Mirror Soul Sickness
7. Sons of Nothing