- Genre: 'Rock'
- Release Date: '10th November 2023'
While London, Manchester, and Leeds are renowned for their music scenes – and musical heritage – Nottingham is altogether less commonly mentioned, despite producing more than its share of metal acts (and tangent styles) over the years, notably Pitch Shifter and Fudge Tunnel, not to mention being home to Earache Records, the label which pretty much singlehandedly brought grindcore to the public, with some help from John Peel.
Sleep In Motion represent Nottingham by bringing an altogether more melodic brand of guitar-driven angst. At its best, as on the juggernaut riff-monster that is ‘Enemy’, they’ve got the heft of later Metallica; at its worst, it’s more Guns ‘n’ Roses histrionics and hits the stream of melodic post-hardcore. Over the course of ten tracks, they manage to hit a fair few points in between: ‘Terminal’ – at least in the verses – gets really dark and heavy, with a growling bass driving things along.
When they go heavy, they go heavy, and serve up some absolutely blasting riffs. When they go emo or anthemic, it feels anticlimactic. ‘Another Day’ sounds like a Bon Jovi ballad, and the la-la-la-la’ chorus of ‘Tomorrow’ squanders a dark, brooding verse, and no-one needs that. What they do need is the churning grit of ‘The March’ and the rugged riffery of ‘Play the Victim.
Fundamentally, ‘Existential’ is a hard rock album that leans toward the heavier end, meaning that the clean, melodic vocals are backed by some really beefy guitars – and they give it enough oomph to make it stand out.