Sleepwalkers – Hollowpath

While there is no doubt that, overseas, the stylistic model for the genre is predominantly made up of the never-quite-praised Daylight Dies and the great Novembers Doom, the Austin-based band does not shy away from this stylistic canvas and still emerges rather well from the not easy comparison. Sleepwalkers have the merit of proposing a sound that makes compactness its strong point even if, to rise to the levels of the greatest still lacks a pinch more of that melancholic and evocative vein that is what can make the individual tracks memorable: at some junctures, in fact, the apt melodic lines are not always developed as they deserve. That said, however, Hollowpath is definitely a fine debut, which finds its qualitative peaks especially in the title-track and the concluding Netherworld, junctures in which Sleepwalkers manage to provide the songs with a more emotional connotation. Quite convincing is also the growl of Caleb Bergen, assisted by the multifaceted performance of multi-instrumentalist Mike Watts, author of the music and also personally responsible for the production of the ep. Undoubtedly Hollowpath constitutes yet another sign of vitality on the part of a star-studded death doom scene in considerable turmoil, highlighted moreover by unknown bands or struggling with self-productions, as in the cases already reviewed by Woccon and Nethermost. As for Sleepwalkers, then, the numbers to be able to carve out a relevant space within the movement seem to have them all, it’s just a matter of waiting for their next moves.

2013 – Independent