If you’re looking for a quality dose of modern classical rock, infused with the choicest influences from the metal spectrum, Giant Sleep has you well and truly covered with their new album Grounded To The Sky.
When I was blasting through Grounded To The Sky for the first time, I was slightly worried I wasn’t hitting the target demographic for the music. Yet after repeated listens, it is obvious that Giant Sleep aren’t just trying to win over the fans of Pink Floyd, Sabbath, and King Crimson, but also keen to pull fans of Tool, Soundgarden, and – looking to more recent times – Boss Keloid along for the ride. Many facets contribute to such a statement, but first lets introduce the band themselves.
Giant Sleep are formed of ex-members of various rock and metal bands, formed in Germany in 2012, with their goal to achieve what is laid out above. Fast forward to two successful albums later (which are certainly worth a listen), and we’re here with the release of Grounded To The Sky, arguably the band’s best yet. A project that at its roots is classical rock, wild guitar noodles complimented by epic vocals that shatter the stratosphere. Drums are largely on the hard rock side of things throughout, but the way the band utilises its strengths makes for some fantastic songs.
Giant Sleep waste no time in getting going on the album, with opener “Silent Fields” tearing into it straight away and delivering thundering riffs and guitar licks straight from the off. It channels many of the Soundgarden/Audioslave vibes I mentioned earlier, with the big baritone vocals from the lead singer Thomas helping to drive the instrumentation along with fervour. As the song progresses, you’ll hear the tone of the guitars will growl more with the doom influences of the band tearing to the forefront of their sound, encapsulating what is a very bluesy feel to the opener.
Title track “Grounded To The Sky” is very, very proggy on the other hand. Complex riffs open the track, using tricky time signatures to build the base of this excellent track. The bassline is an homage to the style of Tool, with the warbling tones setting the stage for the guitar noodles and epic vocals. However, Giant Sleep isn’t just about the massive riffs. Their rockier, psychy side is really well-developed and -written too, notably in “Davos”, which soonafter showcases their prowess for post-rock. Truly a jack of all trades, but are they a master?
On the one hand, I’m tempted to say yes. Numerous tracks on the album slap, the variety in guitar solos, basslines, and songwriting are brilliant. You’re never sure what flavour Giant Sleep will throw at you. Yet, whilst I’m occasionally a fan of the odd cheesy lyric, I feel that Giant Sleep dropped the ball in this department. Sergeant Thunderhoof released one of my favourite albums of 2022, and I felt they toed the line perfectly between corny, proggy, and fun. Songs like “Good Boy” from Giant Sleep are lyrically very cringy, and I feel that is their only letdown. The way those lyrics are delivered, however, is amazing, and I’d love to see them write some with a little more depth in future. I’m glad I can largely switch off from them and enjoy the music as a collective.
Overall? Bloody marvellous, a really great job by the lads in Giant Sleep, with Grounded To The Sky packed full of excellent riffs and memorable hooks. They certainly have a big market they can capture with their sounds, and I look forward to hearing how they progress their sound further in the future. Grounded To The Sky was released on January 27, 2023 and is very much worth a listen straight away. Everything Is Noise proudly premiered the album on Thursday, which you can check out here. Enjoy!