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'Sleep Sleep Sleep' sees Black Shapes take a massive leap forward, there's no denying that this album is a game changer for the band, seeing them concentrate on massive riffage rather than speed, making for a devastatingly crushing experience.Anyone who has caught the band live in the last few weeks since they have started playing these new tracks live will 100% confirm this.
'Sleep Sleep Sleep' is due for release on the 14th October 2013 - More info soon.
Recorded by Steve Sears (Gallows, Hang The Bastard, TRC)
Artwork By Paul Jackson (Architects, Lower Than Atlantis)
The first 250 orders come with 2 exclusive Black Shapes vinyl stickers based on the original artwork supplied for the album by Paul Jackson
for fans of Baroness, Converge, Queens of the Stone Age, Mastodon, Black Sabbath, Feed The Rhino
Below is a short documentary on the making of 'Sleep Sleep Sleep' entiled 'Mommy's Little Darlings'
Bludgeoning gloomcore that won't make you zzz..
Despite it's title, you're unlikely to be able to enjoy forty winks while listening to the debut album from London quartet Black Shapes. Adept at wringing apocalyptic noise out of personel anguish, this lot strip hardcore back to its angry basics, before reshaping it with doomy metal riffs and gloomy alternative rock flavours. Frontman Gareth Evans might declare on 'The Echoing Grief' that "former glories fade", but fans of his old band, November Coming Fire, will find that's anything bit the case. The overall mood of Sleep Sleep Sleep may be morose, but the ambition and diversity on display make it anything but a snoozathon. For Fans Of: Converge, Gallows
Metal Hammer 8/10
London crew rouse a much heavier beast for their debut LP
Black Shapes' debut full-length sees the London noisemongers exploring a more measured approach than on previous outings. Opener 'Treason. Heresy & Witchcraft' sets out the stall with its crushing, slow tempo and rattling bottom end adding a menacing gloom to sit with Gareth Evan's tortured vocals. His taking up the mantle of second guitarist has beefed things up too, with Midnight Brides continuing the meaty downbeat assault, It's not all slower tempo stuff, though, as Nerissa ramps up proceedings with a more typical hardcore attack. Acoustic dirge Sleep With The Gods and the Sabbath inspired Clear View Of Static make welcome, softer interludes amongst the punishment, both rounding out an album that has had more thought put into it than the band has shown before. Sleep.. should give Black Shapes much more attention, and deservedly so.
If Black Shapes' early EPs were akin to a slap to the face, then the London mob's debut full length is more of a sustained beating; the band forsake out and out speed in favour of massive riffs and an oppressive, doom laden atmosphere. This transformation is immediately evident on opening salvo 'Treason, Heresy And Witchcraft', which finds frontman Gareth Evans (ex-November Coming Fire) delivering a truly ferocious voal performance atop pounding metallic stomp that's vaguely reminiscent of ealy Mastodon. Sleep Sleep Sleep is a resounding success.
Forget the high-rise buildings, the people, the shops and the traffic. Take a walk down the side streets and ally ways until you get to the deepest corner of London, and then carry on going until you feel fear like never before. That's where you'll find Gareth Evans, Jonathan Goldthorpe, Richard Wooding and Michael Ager of Black Shapes creating music. Read More
Sleep Sleep Sleep is a fantastic piece of work, flowing seamlessly from one track to the next and providing enough hardcore fury to satisfy the most die hard fans of the genre, yet knowing when to slow the pace down and provide the listener with a moment to collect their thoughts. The guitar work is inventive and the use of unusual time signatures provides a different dimension to the standard hardcore sound, ensuring the listener remains interested from start to finish and the album does not outstay its welcome. Read More
Dark and gloomy riffs come crushing on the shores of your consciousness. A deep sinister groove slowly turns you life into a hellish nightmare. And again, as we have heard all too often with those bone crushing bands from the In At The Deep End roster, there's an addictive side to it, that wants to make you hurt yourself, and get you to carve these amazing songs deep into your flesh...into your emotional make-up. Where the rock of Gallows strips it bare naked, it will be clothed again with the doom of Mastodon, and a Converge-like chaos. An iron-clad monster will take shape and appear in your dreams. A monster led by former-November Coming Fire vocalist Gareth Evans. And where they say 'Sleep, Sleep, Sleep'... you only hear 'Nightmare, Nightmare, Nightmare'. But don't be afraid, you know it is time to embrace your deepest darkest feelings, because as it turns out with Black Shapes, they will be the most original, inspirational, and amazing feelings you can have. See Review
Big Cheese 8/10
Fast-riffing UK outfit offer up a pleasingly abrasive debut
Stepping up their game from their earlier EPs, London's Black Shapes deliver one of the strognest debut full-lengths you'll hear from a UK band this year. As with pretty much any band playing this kind of raucous hardcore, the shadow of Converge casts itself heavily, but some dynamic songwriting and Gareth Evan's coruscating vocals take this above hero worship,From the frenetic 'Sin Of Sinners' to the doom-laden 'Our Temptress The Sea', this is a visceral listen.
Any Album that immediately has you seeking out Hanf The Bastard conections (turns out they share a producer) is onto something, and these Londoners' full length debut thrives on that same combo of ragged desperate vocals and heavyweight hardcore. 'Treason, Heresy And Witchcraft' courses with the sort of groove that our ancestors could dig up in a million years and power cosmic 4x4s with, but rather than use that as a crutch, Black Shapes are just as happy to step off the gas for the psychedelic bizarro ballardy of 'Sleep With The Gods'. This is a pit of rage worth lingering in.
Punk Prospect 9/10
Despite having only just recovered from their last assault on the senses, it's
refreshing to see that with the release of their debut full-length, the boys in Black
Shapes are still under no circumstances beating around the bush. With this in mind
I'm breaking with reviewer tradition and cutting straight to the chase to tell you that this album is huge! In sound, in ambition, in scope...in just about every and any way possible 'Sleep, Sleep, Sleep' is nothing short of colossal! Read More
If there is one word that can succinctly summarise 'Sleep, Sleep, Sleep', the debut album from Black Shapes, it would be "ambitious". Their first EP 'In The Mourning Light' was a terse, laconic statement of a record, full of short, sharp jabs in the vein of bands like Trash Talk. However, the London quartet have taken a far different tack on this full-length, which sees them trade explosive speed for something far more ominous and brooding. With production left in the capable hands of Steve Sears (who produced Gallows' most recent effort), Black Shapes have here been given the freedom to create a record that matches the sonic aspirations they have set themselves. A few listens are required before this album really clicks, but once it does, the rewards are ample. Read More
'Our Temptress The Sea' is daunting, slow and weighty bringing 'Sleep, Sleep, Sleep' to a perfect close, leaving an engraving of deep proportions in the listener's mind. This record, I am not afraid or tentative to say, will blow your brain out of your cake-hole so in any case, don't wait around when this drops. Read More
'Sleep, Sleep, Sleep' is a solid effort from a band that's worked their asses off to get where they are. Tracks like 'Midnight Brides' and 'Age Of Porcine' ensure that the album's second half has no less impact than the first, and if you're a fan of UK hardcore, you'd be hard pushed not to enjoy the vast majority of what Black Shapes have done here. Read More
'Sleep Sleep Sleep' is due for release on the 14th October through In At The Deep End Records and I feel once the album is released you will be hearing about these guys a lot more as they have put so much into the album that they have gone on and created one hell of a riff-tastic brutal record that the hardcore scene kids are going to love. Read More
Black Shapes have returned with a full length that is bound to surprise and excite. Whilst firmly keeping their hardcore roots the band have expanded most other areas of their sound and experimented a lot to create a listening experience that is as fresh and exciting as it is familiar and welcome. Read More
Sleep Sleep Sleep features a distinct old school metal influence with the riffs like the ones on Sin of Sinners and Midnight Brides. Black Shapes also chuck in a lot of atmosphere and weird effects this time round to create some compelling expansive soundscapes full of vibes you wouldn't expect to hear on a hardcore record. At numerous times on the album there were more Kyuss than Converge. Read More