WALL OF SLEEP (When Mountains Roar) CD

When I read that Gábor Holdampf had left Wall Of Sleep, I was a little concerned about the future of the band. What would happen next? They, after all, earned quite an amount of respect and appreciation for their last album '...And Hell Followed With Him'. The point is that Gabor's voice is truly unique and one of a kind. It was truly the trademark of the band. Fortunately, Sándor Füleki and his comrades decided to go on and they found a new singer called Csaba Csel, who is also in the lineup of Hungarian Stoner Rockers Stardrive. The man got pretty good heavy rock pipes.

Surprisingly 'When The Mountains Roar' kicks off with a hard rocking song called 'Hungry Spirits', and even though Wall Of Sleep never been the most doomy band among the Doom bands (and preferred to rock out), this songs sounds quite "happy". And there is more rocking and doomy material on this album. Songs such as 'Into The Light' share a similar vibe. Of course, the doom riffs are still there. The title track or the Pentagram-like 'Bitter Smile' are good examples for more US-American-sounding Doom made in Europe. It took me a few listening sessions to get into it, but I guess the reason that the band sounds a little different is due to Csaba's vocal lines as well. He gives it a slightly less doomy touch. But the way he adds his own vibe to the songs works pretty well for me. And sometimes the man can definitely doom out with his voice, too.

And if you need a bit more creeps, no probs. 'Raven Avenue' is getting an extra dose of Hammond organ, adding some doomy vibe to the rocking guitars and to the refrain's hit potential. Having said this, 'Hell Sells' brings back the doom of the old Wall Of Sleep days with some nice blues influences, while Csaba's vocals get a little darker there. And 'Trapped in Sorrow' follows this direction as well. So I can say that the fans of their previous work should still be able to enjoy their newest output, although there are some different aspects to the new incarnation of Wall of Sleep.

(Thorsten Frahling)