Brotherhood of Sleep - _Dark as Light_
(Catch the Soap, 2011)
by: Johnathan A. Carbon (6 out of 10)
Off the top of my head I could name a handful of Greek metal bands. Perhaps the first, of course, is Rotting Christ, followed by Septicflesh and Necromantia. Though Encyclopaedia Metallum has near 1337 bands registered, the country still suffers from general lack of recognition in the larger spectrum of metal. This is of course unfair, as the deeper I travel into Grecian metal, the more bands I find brilliant. Though it is safe to assume almost every style being executed, discovering a stoner metal band located in the historic capital of Greece is cause for a moment's pause. Brotherhood of Sleep is a collective of three musicians who offer an odyssey across the reaches of doom instrumentals. While not incredibly spectacular as of yet, _Dark as Light_ is a fine offering from a band up until yesterday, I never knew existed.

The boundary between psychedelic rock and heavy metal is virtually non existent, as the two shared a lineage. Psychedelic music, at its root, is heavy and succeeds when played loud and ultimately low. The style of stoner metal is nothing more than a traditional approach to playing heavy metal. This is why Brotherhood of Sleep's fourteen minute explorations celebrate heavy metal's early roots, when it was once indistinguishable from other forms of music. _Dark as Light_ is 50 minutes which stretches into the 11 to 14 minute range of wall melting heavy psychedelic doom. The type of doom explored borders on the heavy rock boundary but nonetheless owes all of its allegiance to the stoner kings and queens.

_Dark as Light_ shines when the album is allowed to wander into territories seldom explored by metal instrumentals. The near Persian influences of "Aranian Gates" as well as complicated passages and space noise of "Naze" make _Dark as Light_ a surprisingly competent record. When viewed in the correct light, Brotherhood of Sleep could be the coolest band you stumbled upon at a party when wandering into the basement to see the band. The lo-fi qualities of the record give _Dark as Light_ an unpolished feel which never feels lacking in musical quality.

For all intents and purposes, Brotherhood of Sleep is one or two records away from greatness. _Dark as Light_, while good, is not a record which is anything more than a good doom instrumental band. While this may sound negative, the band does jump a lot of hurdles and avoids being a below average band incapable of arousing emotion. Perhaps this album will grow on me or perhaps I'm giving it too much credit for being Greek. Whatever the case, _Dark as Light_ is worth one's time and energy to seek out. Regardless of it being a spectacular and amazing 2011 record matters little when caught in a vortex of shifting time and space.


(article published 23/7/2011)

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