“They Flew In Censored Skies” by Sleepstream is an aural delight from start to finish. An album from the stellar Fluttery Records that I have obsessed about almost as much as “We Held Our Breath Until Our Hearts Exploded” by Beneath The Watchful Eyes having received both albums to review at the same time. Both bands express themselves within the styling we call post rock. Both bring something unique to the genre. With BTWE it was ’big beat’ electronics, whereas with Sleepstream they bring the cello as an integral instrument and a heavier presentation to the table. Both bands are a delight to me. Both bands get me very excited about the post rock genre.
Sleepstream‘s post-metal sound is interwoven with their post rock aesthetic to create something rather beautiful indeed. The cello is an integral part of this post metal mix, providing a heartbreakingly beautiful, almost poignant, sound. The lilting melodies are exquisite, forming an excellent counter-point to the frenetic guitars – ’Chemtrail Borders II’ is a prime example of this.
It would be amiss, however, to solely focus on the cello because all the parts of the band – guitar, bass and drums – play their part superbly well. It is easily apparent that there is chemistry between the members of the band that really brings each contribution alive. The dynamics alone are exceptional, they really do get the post rock expression thing … but there is more, a synergy that shines through. This is a band that work tightly as one unit and bring to the listener exceptional soundscapes that come from this unity.
“They Flew In Censored Skies” is heavier than most post rock albums. This is a positive that differentiates the band from their peers. As mentioned above, Sleepstream do employ, with great effect, the dynamics of post rock. In fact, they do it with great flourish. However, they also bring an energy to the table that is intoxicating … ’Cirrus Formed Antannae’ is a great example of their power, a power derived from their expert use of dynamics as well as sheer, taut muscle.
All in, the title track is, for me, the stand out track because it has everything: melody, power, frenetic guitars and ferocious drums … interspersed with the highs and lows of post rock dynamics – slow and fast, quiet & loud, soft & hard. It is a remarkable track on a rather remarkable album. Fluttery has done it again!
Highly recommended, especially for metalheads that are curious of the post rock genre.