The 2010s were a fantastic decade for heavy music, and the new decade definitely has a lot to live up to if it's going to be anywhere near as good. However, there are plenty of reasons to get excited for what the roaring 20's has to offer for heavy music fans of all shades. Rage Against the Machine have reunited, John Frusciante has rejoined the Red Hot Chili Peppers and new albums will be released from some top tier bands such as Sylosis, Ozzy Osbourne, Loathe, Kvelertak and many more. However, if you want something sooner from a name that most people won't recognise, Canadian extreme metallers Sleepwraith's debut album Day Terrors is definitely worth your time.
Taking cues from extreme metal heavyweights such as Between the Buried and Me and Lamb of God, Day Terrors is an 11 track album which features some exceptionally tight songwriting and musicianship. Opening track 'The Aphelion Complex' is a punishing 6 minute slab of modern death metal with some amazing vocals. Vocalist/guitarist Seedy Mitchell has a voice that is as refined and controlled as it is brutal, with his harsh vocals sitting somewhere between Randy Blythe and Phil Bozeman, and his guitar and bass arrangements deserve the same amount of praise. The one two punch of 'Transorbital Decay' and 'Anamnesis' that follows showcases the more melodic side of Sleepwraith, with some particularly memorable clean vocals and harmonies which help break up the album's heavier parts whilst maintaining an exceptional flow throughout the record's run time.
The drumming on this album, courtesy of Ryan Biggs, would be a crime to omit. There's little overtly flashy throughout Day Terrors, instead it maintains a strong rhythm which drives the album forward, and the occasional fill helps to keep things interesting and compensates the guitar and bass parts. Whilst a lot of modern metal relies on time-alignment, programming and triggers, Biggs here sounds natural whilst also being exceptionally tight throughout. Day Terrors' mixing also helps push the chaos forward; all the instruments have their moments to shine, and there's never a point where anything overpowers anything else. It's absurd how well polished Day Terrors is considering the position Sleepwraith are in.
Overall, this album is a fantastic start not only to the new decade as far as metal is concerned, but also the start of Sleepwraith's career. It can sound derivative at times, but the exceptional musicianship and memorable melodies definitely make up for this. If Day Terrors sets any precedent for the future of Sleepwraith, then the future is most certainly very bright indeed.