Album Review :
Sleeping Giant - I Am

By in Reviews | 12 Comments

Label: Facedown Records
Release Date: January, 26th, 2018

Tracklisting:

  1. Preachcore Lives!
  2. Second Chance Kids (feat. Mattie Montgomery)
  3. No Love (feat. Garrett Russell)
  4. Clear Eyes, Full Hearts
  5. Lantern (feat. Bruce LePage)
  6. No Sleep Pt. 2
  7. Haunted
  8. Fly. Fight. Crow. (feat. Ryan Clark)
  9. Reformation (feat. Brook Reeves)
  10. Hosanna
  11. Smashed Upon The Rock
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With the coming of I Am, one of the most influential metal bands in the scene has come to pass. What a big hole they leave in their absence. But let us get to the album that begins with the gang vocals yelling “Sleeping giant!”

Preachcore Lives! begins the final album with a message to be left behind for the next bands to rise up. With phrases like, “Kingdom over everything,” “Recognition of the one true name,” and “Don’t perform for the crowd, but for the crown.”

I Am shows off a wide range of guest vocalists, featuring Garrett Russell of Silent Planet, Ryan Clark of Demon Hunter, Mattie Montgomery of For Today, Brook Reeves of Impending Doom and Bruce LePage of 100 Demons.

The album is a refined effort and is very organized in songwriting. It seems that when going into the writing of this album knowing that it would be their final piece, it helped aim the lyrics in the most honest direction possible; not that vocalist Tommy Green ever had an issue with writing honest lyrics.

Green’s vocals shine on the fourth track, Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, with soaring notes in the chorus. No Sleep Pt.2 is a sequel to a song on Sleeping Giant’s debut album. While featuring some gang vocals, the song is absent of screams, but that doesn’t dull its message. “Didn’t I, didn’t I say you’d get no sleep from me?”

Fly. Fight. Crow. features one of the most infectious riffs on the entire album in addition to featuring one of the most noticeable vocals in the scene. Ryan Clark’s signature scream growls in the second verse with ferocity.

Reformation begins with some brutal lyrics, screaming, “Oppression at the hands of the priest. Progression begins with an open throat.” Later in the song, guest vocalist Reeves growls, “No more religious control.” The track is clearly inspired by many recent events in the media, and shines a light on what the focus should be on. “No other law in this reformation, only the law of selfless love.” The heaviest breakdown on the album can also be found during this track.

Drummer Matt Weir’s abilities are brilliantly displayed on Hosanna in reminisce to Matt Greiner of August Burns Red. “What can I say? You are the God who answered me, you are the one whose love has conquered my world.” Closing out with repeating the title of the song, Hosanna is one of the standout tracks.

Smashed Upon The Rock closes the final album from Sleeping Giant. Not slowing at all, the track continues the hardcore onslaught that never ceases throughout the entire LP. “Tell me why Your son was born to die, why He chose to pay the highest price, bringing mercy to the cast aside?” The final song ends on an extended breakdown with the line, “I bid you farewell.”

The career of Sleeping Giant has lasted for 12 years, and five full length albums. Their message has been steadfast the entire time, and there was never a doubt of why they said what they said. They were a ministry band, bringing masses of people together who likely would have otherwise not seen a manner of that type of brotherhood and love. With the end of their career, there are big shoes needing filled.

“For me personally this band has been such an important and special gift in my life that I needed to know that I was actually at a point where I could let go and move on. I didn’t want to feel grief like there was something unexpressed, unsaid, or undone in me; I didn’t want to feel like I was selling myself out. This band has become the private journal made public of the story of my life. It is one of the most important things I have ever done.” – Tommy Green.

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12 Comments on "Sleeping Giant - I Am"

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Tony
Come on now lol it’s not nickelback core. The breakdowns are heavy and he went heavy live with preach core lives. Definitely made me wonder why he didn’t incorporate more screams in the album version? I’d say my fave from best to worse sleeping giant albums are: 1. Sons of thunder 2. Kingdom days 3. I Am 4. Dread champions 5. Finished people Finished people has some solid songs but it didn’t move me the way the others did. The new one has some anointed lyrics but sons of thunder and kingdom days are personal faves because of what I… Read more »
WarriorSam

I would say

1. Dread champions
2. Kingdom days
3. Sons Of Thunder
4. I am
5. Finished people

Kavin

5/5 from me. Just too good.

WarriorSam

Not a bad album but not really memorable compared to the first 2 or 3 albums

Quinsy

Nickelback-core.

Quinsy

Nickleback-core.

No that title is reserved for bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Eighteen Visions, Atreyu, Blessed By A Broken Heart etc. not that those bands are bad but I just see a certain tendency in those bands to model themselves after similar styles. I’ve never heard anyone label an independent artist on a label like Facedown as copping some commercial top 40 rock sound. #weaksauce

Tony

I honestly don’t skip any songs while listening. The last song has a really great lyric towards the end, “the only thing a man can take when he passes through the grave, is Your love.” And then elsewhere, “You are the God who ransomed me. You are the Lord whose love has conquered my world. We sing, Hosanna!” Lyrics are better than finished people for me.

Mark K
Really enjoying this album! I’m so glad it doesn’t feel like they went out with nothing left. It’s not that it is complicated, epic or groundbreaking but the simple high quality of each song feels like they poured their heart intentionally into going out on a high note. I think they nailed this album. Finished People, though a bigger grower for me, still had some more lackluster songs toward the end. I thoroughly enjoy every track here. Kingdom Age was my favorite before. I see that album as a milestone, dense and highly consistent beginning to end. This may top… Read more »
Chris

5/5 this is their best album. A masterpiece.

Mark

Awesome guest lineup!

“Oppression at the hands of the priest. Progression begins with an open throat.”

(sigh) Another anti-Catholic song aimed at peoples emotions, without any consideration of the weighted evidence of Protestant vs. Catholic “oppression” by means of church government, a comparison that probably can’t be quantified anyway. This is why theological meta-narratives via music worry me sometimes. Nevertheless, musically I’ve enjoyed what I’ve heard from this album and look forward to hearing more.

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