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The Final Sleep – ‘Vessels of Grief’

Independent Release
Opeth, Edge of Sanity, Control Denied, Katatonia, All That Remains, Moonspell
Release Date
Independent Release
Melodic/Progressive Death Metal

The Final Sleep bridges the worlds between progressive metal and death metal. This isn’t death metal with progressive elements. It’s not exactly progressive with death metal elements either. Sure there are growls and sure there are guitar leads over guitars that don’t rely solely on power chords, but those elements are all blended rather than interchanged. A hardcore progressive metal fan would find the progressive elements to be lacking, while a hardcore death metal purist would bristle at the soaring clean vocals and lack of caveman riffs.

‘Vessels of Grief’ manages to traverse both lanes without ever venturing into the more pretentious esoteric meanderings of prog while also avoiding the turgid genre conventions of death metal. The result of this restraint is an album full of meaningful songs with considerable variety. There’s a little something for everyone here. It’s not just the musical choices that contribute to the variety, however; the vocals also cover a lot of ground.  It’s not merely that there’s a clean vocalist and a growling vocalist. The two blend routinely. When not blending vocal styles there’s a variety of croons, belts, growls, and bleghs. The mature writing and catchy vocals are the highlights of the band. The guitar leads provide lift where needed in the songs, but prog aficionados will not be impressed. The brutal sections will induce head-banging but death metal devotees may not be affected.

If you fall in the camp of the purist of either genre this might not be for you, but if you don’t require these genre trappings there are a lot of good catchy songs on ‘Vessels of Grief’.

"there are a lot of good catchy songs on ‘Vessels of Grief’"

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