Album Review: Sleepwulf – Sunbeams Curl

Album Review: Sleepwulf - Sunbeams Curl
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings

Comprising three quarters Swedish and one quarter Scottish, psychedelic doomsters Sleepwulf bring their second album ‘Sunbeams Curl’, the follow up to their eponymous 2020 debut. ‘Sunbeams Curl’ takes listeners on a retro trip which shimmies through the fuzzed-up seventies but with a fresh approach and style which is both familiar and yet innovative. Delving deep into ancient mysticism, the occult and long forgotten alchemy, the organic and fluid sound that Sleepwulf capture sits very neatly in the burgeoning movement of psychedelic proto doom.

It's a thankfully short album, avoiding long meandering tracks that so often is the curse of this style of music but don’t expect it to be a throwaway record, for there is plenty to enjoy. From the album opener ‘Satan is King’ with its underlying groove and sensational guitar work through to the finale on ‘Bury Me Backwards’, Sleepwulf’s dynamic approach reaps dividends. ‘Satan is King’ kicks off with an irresistible riff, and singer Owen Robertson’s distinctive delivery at once welcoming and familiar. He nails every track with ease, his whole devilish delivery landing with glints of mischief. Robertson’s vocals supply the perfect foil for the guitar work of Sebastian Ihme, who enjoys a blistering solo which instantly grabs the interest

The haunting yet seductive hook of ‘Green Man Dead’ bewitches. The groove and riff draw you in without any resistance, the drumming of Carl Lindberg combined with the deep rolling bass of Viktor Sjöström supplying a perfect foundation for Ihme to unleash more magic.

Album Review: Sleepwulf – Sunbeams Curl

With tracks such as ‘Sex Magic Manifestation, ‘Stoned Ape’ and ‘Toad Licker Mushroom Picker’ it would be reasonable to ask if there just might have been a bit of organic or chemical assistance in the production of this album. Regardless, what Sleepwulf bring to the table is some of the best the genre has to offer. ‘Man Under the Mountain’ is a swirling, mazy trip that is thick with dirty riffs and an overall hypnotic sway. And Sleepwulf can change the approach, with the upbeat melodies of ‘Tyrant Song’ casting its magical spell.

Recorded live in their own woodland studio, ‘Sunbeams Curl’s brings a fantastic home-grown organic feel. If you enjoy the explorative sway of those that inhabit the Heavy Psych label, then ‘Sunbeams Curl’ should be on your list of purchases for 2022. And if you don’t, then you should still give it a good listen. It’s that good.

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