Upon opening with “Praise and Hatred”, Sail comes out the gates with hefty stoner riffs and sludge soaked adrenaline. Slumbersong is entirely built around these elements no matter how fast or slow the music goes. The first track alone presents the general idea of what to expect (a treat for all you Mastodon, Red Fang, and Baroness fans). Sail presents a great rock and roll jam record that is equally heavy and catchy.
While the band’s influences can be heard, they never take away from the music’s own identity. For the most part the album balances out sounds. One moment the riffs are thick and sludgy, and then things slow down and settle into a hazy atmosphere. In cases like “Praise and Hatred” and “Righteous” the music becomes a vehicle to simply jam out. With speedy and powerful drumming, along with thick chords, the music makes for a straight forward head banging treat. This is ever-present in “Old Tom”, which easily has the heaviest intro (like a boot to the face). The blood pressure is bound to spike come the one-minute mark when the song whiplashes in with death metal like growls.
“The Weight of Gold” keeps this same idea in motion while easing up on heavy tones and vocals, and introducing stronger melody in instrumentals. This accompanied with a soaring and beautiful voice make for a great change in sound, and introduce a layer of emotion to the work. The changes that come with “Ghosts” are all the more prominent when it comes to style. Slowing down the melody and grooves, the track introduces spacey elements and a gentle approach. Taking on a more psychedelic energy, this is a “hard rock meets Pink Floyd” vibe. “Shimmer is another title that builds upon the spacey aspect, but also weaves in that heaviness of early songs.
While the record is able to balance out sounds for the most part, that basic sound of groove and tone becomes a factor that sticks out. This isn’t to say that it necessarily is a bad thing, but if it weren’t for the slower material, then one would know what all the tracks coming would sound like. Regardless of the shifting of speed, those elements make themselves clearer as the album progresses. The case for Sail here however is that those titles such as “Ghosts” do one hell of a number to shake things up. With the breathing room it allows the listener to enjoy the “jam out” tracks all the more.
Slumbersong has a few treats, and while it certainly never becomes boring, the common aspects stick out a little too much at times. What it pulls off effectively is creating atmosphere in its energy. Given that some of the songs rely on common sound, there is still enough joyrides and unique tracks to keep things alive and moving. In the end Sail has put out a really fun record. Full to the brim with speed, sludge, and even throwing in some atmosphere, Slumbersong is a party rolled up into an album.