Sleepy Hollow
Sleepy Hollow were formed in 1989 in New Jersey. Several of it's members were formerly in Attacker including vocalist Bob Mitchell and guitarists Jim Mooney.
Mike LePond, formerly of Heathen's Rage and now well known for his position in Symphony X was also a part of this band at one time.

Sleepy Hollow
Sleepy Hollow (Azra/Ironworks) 1991

1. "Darkness" (:53)
2. "Last Rites (2:33)
3. "Freedom Condemned (5:22)
4. "Hazardous (3:50)
5. "Eighth Wonder (6:04)
6. "Final Conflict (5:41)
7. "Children of the Sea" (5:37)
8. "Darkness (Reprise) (:56)
9. "Iggy's Audi (:33)

Sleepy Hollow perform dark, doomy majestic heavy metal. Had this been released today, it would have been labeled "power metal". However in 1989/90 when this CD was being recorded, this was called simply, "heavy metal". The band offers galloping riffs, fast guitar leads, memorable song writing and soaring clean vocals. Former Attacker vocalist Bob Mitchell has one of those high voices that were typical of this style of metal in the 80's, however, he also has some gruff and grit to his voice, reminding me at times of Alan Teccchio of Hades.

Hearing this, I am actually surprised this band doesn't have a big cult following, not unlike some other New Jersey underground acts. The one thing that holds this CD back is that the production is a bit thin overall. However, all the instruments can be clearly heard and the mix itself is even. I'd be willing to bet that proper mastering could really enhance this album. All the songs here are quite good, with extra special props to the awesome Black Sabbath cover" Children of the Sea". I can actually hear how Dio-era Sabbath might have been a huge influence on this band's sound.

My CD copy has two covers. The winged horse cover is a single page insert with nothing printed on the back. The other is a four page insert with lyrics and a thank you list.

Of Gods... Sleepy Hollow - Tales of Gods and Monsters (Pure Steel) 2016

1.       Black Horse Named Death (4:33)     
2.       Sons of Osiris (4:38)     
3.       Alone in the Dark (1:35)     
4.       Bound by Blood (6:11)     
5.       Goddess of Fire (3:35)     
6.       On Blackened Seas  (5:09)     
7.       Baphomet (5:18)     
8.       Creation Abomination (3:37)     
9.       Shapeshifter (4:18)     
10.     Time Traveller (5:06)     
11.     Shadowlands (5:52)     

Guitarist Steve Stegg regroups with an entirely different line-up from the bands 1991 classic debut. The band had released a second album in 2013 with original vocalist Bob Mitchell, whose unique style helped give the band their identity. However, I have yet to hear it as of writing this. "Tales of Gods and Monsters" features new vocalist Chapel Stormcrow from doom metal band Altar Of Dagon. Chapel's vocals fit the dark, majestic music to a tee. His voice is melodic but has a slight rasp which also gives him a uniqueness.

The music on "Tales of Gods and Monsters" can accurately be described as traditional, old-school heavy metal, but with these dark, doomy overtones. The music is mostly mid-paced to slow and plodding which adds to the doom metal feel, but there are these majestic, galloping riffs that reminds you that this is heavy metal. There is also some fantastic guitar leads spread throughout the album.

My only real complaint about this album is the horrific font chosen in the booklet. It's a script font that is quite small and placed over an image so that it's barely readable. This seems to be a trend with digital age booklets. Otherwise, "Tales of Gods and Monsters" is a fantastic album from Sleepy Hollow. Fans of Cirith Ungol, Manilla Road and Candlemass would do themselves well to check it out.

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