Once again Small Stone Records demonstrate their ability for releasing albums that actually do not fit the rest of the label program. BLACK SLEEP OF KALI have virtually nothing in common with 1970's heavy rock, although they also prefer huge riffs. 'Our Slow Decay' has its roots more in late 1980's hardcore punk, especially bands from Dischord Records as, for example, Fugazi, Rites Of Spring or Soulside comes to mind in this context. This is especially due to the vocals of guitarist Taylor Williams, but it is also the same sort of dynamics and structures that evoke this association. An indicator for this is, for example, 'Eulogy' which cannot deny its very close relationship to Fugazi. Nevertheless, BLACK SLEEP OF KALI have a significantly fatter and heavier guitar tone. Naturally, that equally applies to the bass as well.
But they are also specialized in constructing massive landscapes made of riffs, but it should not go unnoticed that drummer Gordon Koch is playing a great part during the process. His precise style is powerful and full of life and it's pure pleasure to listen to this human whirlwind. Suitably to the prophetic album title, here are also plenty of apocalyptic moments where BLACK SLEEP OF KALI are coming closer to mid-1990's Neurosis. Well, it's definitely not easy to describe this sonic assault. There is so much to discover here; that is and remains exciting, a truly homogeneous and organic combination. 'The Crow and The Snake' displays the band's abilities to rock out as energetic as possible, whereas 'In Time' builds and builds, and unleashes with a frightening amount of fury for the beginning. It is the only song with an epic structure, clocking in at 8:23 minutes, but otherwise the tracks lasting 5 minutes on average.
But even if no catchy tune reveals itself easily to us, the high number of melodies and the abrasive parts are tightly interwoven so that it is possible to get an easier access to the fascinating heavy world of BLACK SLEEP OF KALI. I therefore also think it is important to ensure that you almost need to be "in a state of mind" to appreciate the beauty here. I also think the album is best heard start to finish. It allows the listener to really lose themselves in the crushing sound. Worth mentioning is also the work of Chris Gooseman, who mastered 'Our Slow Decay'. In co-operation with Benny Brotto, they have managed to give this album a colossal sonic dimension. The sound is really huge, but at the same time extremely down-to-earth. 'Our Slow Decay is one of those albums that is meant to create an atmosphere that you can easily get lost too. This album is a showcase of blending in DC-styled hardcore punk, sludge, doom, and progressive metal all into one. If this is the kind of heavy crunching sound that appeals to you, then you should give a chance to this young and promising band.