Sleep Chamber ‎– Sleep, Or Forever Hold Your Piece

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Tracklist

Verbum Sapienti 1
El Topo
Verbum Sapienti 2
That's Romance
Verbum Sapienti 3
Snakebite
Verbum Sapienti 4
The Light Pours Out Ov Me
Verbum Sapienti 5
A Better Way
Verbum Sapienti 6
A Synthetic Woman
Verbum Sapienti 7
Dominatrix
Verbum Sapienti 8
Mrs. Goodbar
Verbum Sapienti 9

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June 3, 2012
edited over 3 years ago
referencing Sleep, Or Forever Hold Your Piece, CD, Album, FÜNFUNDVIERZIG 51
This album is a little unusual as each of the 11 tracks are introduced by a small Industrial piece called "Verbum Sapienti" (1-10). The album opens with "El Topo", a surprisingly 'normal' sounding track for SLEEP CHAMBER, with only the whispered vocals giving a clue as to who these are. "That's Romance" sounds a lot more like they usually do, except for the cymbal/high hat sound which sizzles along while the vocalist JOHN ZEWIZZ drips both seminal fluid and venom into the microphone. "Snakebite" comes across as being quite Rocky with violin-like guitar following a steady but unimpressive drum rhythm. Next up is the cover version of "The Light Pours Out Of Me", the old MAGAZINE number. It's better than the Pete Murphy version, but still doesn't hold a light to the original. ZEWIZZ's voice gives it a whole different inflection to Devoto's, a lot more threatening, a lot sleazier. Having said which, it still belts along at a Helluva pace. There's no "Verbum Sapienti" intro for "Way Ov All Flesh" which truly returns to the sound of "Sins Ov Obsession" & "Spellbound Submission", a cracked, continuous beat-beat-beat which sounds rather minimal despite the occasional intrusion of noise. No intro either for the live version of "Babylon" (recorded at Manray, Boston on 31/12/90) - a sound equal to - if not even better than their studio sound - good stuff. "A Better Way" makes it's way into the arena. Again the old sound returns, yet it has clearly changed into something lighter and whiter, an instrumental with a few vocal effects - a good track, but hasn't the SLEEP CHAMBER logo stamped into it's rump - it could have conceivably been recorded by anyone. "A Synthetic Woman" is yet another straightforward piece of electronic-based music which might sit well on an E.B.M. compilation. "Dominatrix" follows a similar style, with vocals flanged and mixed far enough back to give it a textural sound. "Mrs. Goodbar" is probably the highlight of the entire album, an atmospheric piece, even if the lyrics are a little strange 'She's My Lover/The One With The Facial Scars'??? The music is, once more, a fairly straight drum track with guitar & noise cverlaid onto it, but it's good! The album closes with "Skullduggery", which is a large sound with heaps cf atmosphere on it. This finally fades to 'Verbum Sapient 10'.
This is a very different album for them. They are either looking for a new sound or are losing their own identity, are aiming for commercialism or are just plain selling out. For me this might not be a bad thing. The lyrics are a little more watered down on this - you still wouldn't let the kids listen to this, or ever, fool the Radio One DJs (even they'd soon figure out what 'fuck' meant), but it's getting more that way. You never know, they could be on your National Chart Show!

Originally reviewed for Soft Watch.