Album Review :
Sleeping Giant "Dread Champions Of The Last Days"
Band: Sleeping Giant
Title: Dread Champions Of Last Days
Label: Facedown Records
Review By: JoshIVM
01. The Army Of One
02. This Calls For Patient Endurance On The Part Of The Saints
03. Narrow Road
05. Behold The Pale Horse
08. Blame It On The Holy Rollers
09. The Power Of Prayer
10. Sleeping Giant
11. No Sleep From My Eyes
12. King Of Kings
13. Oh Praise Him
14. This Is The Word
Thom Green: Vocals
Travis Boyd: Drums
Geoff Brouillette: Guitar
J.R. Bermuda: Bass
Corey Johnson: Guitar
Bold and powerful are two good words to describe the band known as Sleeping Giant. They make absolutely no effort to hide their intentions and focus which is to reach people with the gospel of Christ plain and simple and they use a diverse arsenal of music as the vehicle. This certainly will alienate some potential fans but I support them in their efforts. Consisting of members of xDeathstarx we could all assume early on that it would be heavy but I think they surprised many with the various ways they chose to deliver that heaviness.
The album opens with the bass heavy, groove metal track “The Army Of One”. The lyrics to this track are not sung or screamed but are delivered as a speech which speaks of end times material and really sets the stage for the album. The album is very focused lyrically but diverse musically. Most of the time the guitars are thick complemented by the pummeling rhythm section. Overall the album is incredibly heavy throughout. Crushing breakdowns.”Whoremonger” has a more melodic feel to go along with the heaviness. The clean vocals make their first appearance here as well as a more rap-flavored approach. The music is slow-paced and again sees the band bring a more groove styled metal.”Behold The Pale Horse” blasts out of the gate with a more thrash metal sound. The metal fans will surely be disappointed that this soon ends and the breakdowns begin. But I feel the track is a good mix of various styles of brutal music. It also shows more fingerwork on the guitars instead of simply chugging away.
Lyrically the band is blatant with their faith. Facedown is known for producing bands who wear their faith on their sleeves. There’s no innuendos or hints here it’s right there for all to see. Some themes are the anti-Christ and New World Order type of stuff (“The Army Of One”, “This Calls For Patient…”), avoiding judging others (“Blame It On The Holy Rollers”), and heartfelt praise (“King Of Kings”, “Oh Praise Him”).
Side note: The artwork on the album is surprisingly bland. Usually Facedown releases are above par with Quiggle’s gifted hand but this one was not. It had no impact on my scoring but it was a disappointment nonetheless.
Overall Rating: SG have delivered an impressive debut but they should work harder to focus their sound just a bit more. There’s plenty of breakdowns for those that desire that but maturing their sound and musicianship will do a lot for the group. If they can mesh all their influences into a more cohesive monster they could really blow up! This isn’t your every day hardcore or metalcore album though. Most of it is up tempo, yet at the same time I wouldn’t consider it fast. It’s more sludgy in sound, but easily one of the heaviest records of the year. If you’re looking for something to spice up your collection I’d suggest giving this a spin or two.
Standout Tracks: “Whoremonger”, “Blame It On The Holy Rollers”
Buy: Facedown Records Store