Defies the norm in both structure and content

Sydneysiders Recoil V.O.R (Voice of Rules) return with their new album Sleep for the Masses.

It’s an album that defies the norm in both structure and content. Swaying from nu-metal to instrumentals to prog-rock, hardcore and even bordering thrash on one track, it’s an interesting mix that delivers equally interesting results.

With the album containing such deviation of genres it’s no surprise that Sleep for the Masses has little in the way of continuity. It is there but contained to small groupings of tracks as if the band created 4 EPs and combined them into one opus. The band themselves explain the album as a cathartic journey through life, where “the listener can jump on or off the ride at any point or stay for the duration and experience its entirety.”

Fittingly, it’s an instrumental piece that lures the audience into the album, grafting its way to an electric crescendo before ‘Broken Arm’ begins the aural carnage. Raspy vocals of singer Wade McKay are paralleled by clean choruses; solid riffs are equalled by killer breakdowns. ‘Breaking’ follows on in similar fashion but turned up another notch or two on the metal volume scale with McKay now almost in deathy screamo mode.

A haunting tale of suicide precedes ‘Commit to Memory’ with an elderly female recalling the malevolent event surrounded by eerie guitar work. The bass infused ‘The Fear’ hits hard from the outset utilising a clean vocal in company with McKay’s guttural tones. There is no other way than to turn the volume up on this hard hitting track.

Things change down the track as the nu-metal ‘Unto The Paradox’ explodes through the speakers featuring Jahred of Hed(P.E). Old school Korn fans will appreciate this track, sounding like something that wouldn’t be out of place on Life Is Peachy. Then we hit another fork in the road as Recoil V.O.R lay down another guitar laden instrumental that meanders along but intrigues all at once. ‘RVOR’ is almost-thrash, starting out at frenetic pace before the killer riff kicks in and the band settle on an old school style sound showcasing the skills of guitarist Mat Martorana and bassist Adam Norbury. A definite highlight.

‘El dia mars Largo (Part 1)’ takes Recoil V.O.R into another realm, sliding into near prog-metal territory with many layers that works beautifully, seamlessly leading into another instrumental with more some spoken word, ‘Devenir (Part 2)’. Completing the album is ‘Ocaso (Part 3)’ with a mix of acoustic guitars and soft vocals that meld into a nice solo and  culminates in an all-out attack, swinging from metal to a sludge-doom filled ending.

Albums with so-called “journeys” are hit and miss but when one departs from the accepted standard and actually delivers it is a rare thing in the music world. Kudos to Recoil V.O.R for taking that leap and delivering a journey worth taking.

1. Power
2. Broken Arm
3. Breathing
4. Commit To Memory
5. The Fear
6. Miss Saigon
7. Unto the Paradox
8. Cheers
10. El dia mars Largo (Part 1)
11. Devenir (Part 2)
12. Ocaso (Part 3)