Sleeping in Gethsemane – Burrows
Record Label: Init Records
Release Date: April 7, 2009
Sleeping in Gethsemane are a three piece instrumental band hailing from Fargo, North Dakota. Their sound combines elements of rock, metal, and jazz, constantly fading in and out between heavy jam sessions and slow ambient build-ups. After independently releasing their first record The Great White North in 2007, the band is back with a slightly less technical but more finely tuned sound in Burrows. The album is a 48 minute rollercoaster of heavy jams and slower melodic sections, and the band frequently makes use of varying time signatures to keep the music interesting and technical.
Burrows opens with the 9:43 “Always a Triumph,” which opens explosively in a mathy jam reminiscent of heavier 65daysofstatic, but quickly breaks for a slower paced, ambient/echo laden guitar build up. It rips open again around 5:17 with some throat-wrenching screams, one of the few occurrences of vocals on the entire album, which makes it a powerful opening to Burrows. Except for the piano led “Interlude” and the albums finishing track, all the songs on Burrows feature contrasting heavy and mellow sections, which sums up the band’s songwriting style. The last track on the album, the furious 7:35 “We Refuse to Envy Mars” also features some sampled vocals sounding like news reports, and some gang vocals towards the end. Although I would classify this release as instrumental, these rare, unexpected sections with vocals help to add more emotion and aggression to Burrows. The production was handled extremely well, with the guitars, bass, and drums all coming through extremely clear in the mix, but with a rawness in the tones that prevents that over-polished/over-produced feeling.
Though some of the transitions between mellow and heavy sections could be smoother (they like to fade in quieter sections after a heavy jam comes crashing to an end, rather than keeping the percussion going and blending them together for example), Burrows is nonetheless an enjoyable release. With the eight tracks spanning 48 minutes, the album is one you should really sit down and listen to from front to back to experience the full range of what Burrows has to offer. Look out for these boys as their live show is certainly not to be missed, and make sure to check out their debut if you were a fan of this record.