From the opening brief, but urgent and thrusting, ‘Throne Room Militance’ Christian hardcore band Sleeping Giant show they are back with a third explosive slice of aggressive metal, with their new album “Kingdom Days In An Evil Age” via Ain’t No Grave Records. A bomb blast of rage, aggression and religious faith and worship, it drives their messages directly into the ear on the back of some of the best heavy and vibrant sounds heard so far this year.
Sleeping Giant do not sugar coat or try to submerge their thoughts and words within clever and interpretable lyrics, they give it straight and forcibly with pride and passion, they are what they are and let the listener deal with it or not, and what the Southern Californians are, behind the often verging on the distracting ‘glory of God’ bombardment, is a extremely fine hardcore band employing powerful and striking riffs and engaging variations in melodies, harmonies and delivery.
Sleeping Giant pull no punches in their songs, they hit with the force of a tornado as they drive incessant inviting grooves and grinding riffs through the ear. The drums of Matt Weir are exceptional on “Kingdom Days In An Evil Age”, whether bullying the senses within the likes of ‘Dead Man Walking’ and ‘Tongues Of Fire’ or in the controlled guiding rhythms of the melodic slower paced hymn like ‘Enthroned’, he is simply impressive. Though to be fair that applies to all, the great basslines of J.R. Bermuda especially the gloriously resonating one in ‘Defiance’ are imperious, whilst the guitars of Eric Gregson and Geoff Brouillette are engagingly creative and crushing in equal measure. Vocalist Tommy Green like Weir is at the height of his game on the album too, his soaring harmonies and rage fuelled growls and punk deliveries are inspiring, making his words hard to ignore. Clear and incisive that his delivery is every sentiment and nuance is heard and felt perfectly and on ‘Eyes Wide Open’ and the sublime ‘Tithemi’ his range and varied ability is shown to full effect.
The tracks explode one after another showing no mercy, the brilliantly inspirational and energetic ‘The Cross Is Suicide’ as urgent and dominating as the song ‘Jehova Shalom’ with its devastating defiant riffs and drum attack. The passion the band as a whole and especially Green give for their belief and message is equalled by their skilful and driven ability to create furiously keen and intensive music.
The deluxe version of “Kingdom Days In An Evil Age” comes with three extra tracks and to be honest not only do they match the album tracks a couple actually are better. The previously mentioned ‘Defiance ‘ with that siren like bass line and proud wilfulness and the impressive grinding ‘Father To The Fatherless’ with more than a flavour of Five Finger Death Punch about it, are rampant, riveting and very satisfying rock/hardcore tracks that show even the extras of Sleeping Giant are impressive.
For many Sleeping Giant will be too forceful and preachy with their beliefs and not show the tolerance the band themselves have. “Kingdom Days In An Evil Age” is simply a direct declaration of worship but even for those not down with the views and the rant like messages of Sleeping Giant, their impressive and vibrant hard sounds and strong creative aggressive melodic hardcore will bring more than enough gratification.