Sleep Of Monsters – II: Poison Garden album review

The artful sustaining of a Finnish goth rock cult

Sleep Of Monsters, album cover

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For those punters who recognise the unsung brilliance of Finnish goth rockers Babylon Whores, the ongoing renaissance of that band’s enigmatic frontman Ike Vil marks a second opportunity for the world to wake up and smell the genius.

The second Sleep Of Monsters album is a little more adventurous than its predecessor, 2013’s Produces Reason, but Vil’s formula of dark melodrama married to haunting melodies, six-string clangor and theatrical pomp remains intact.

While II: Poison Garden may never hit the same levels of mesmerising, grimoire grit as the best of the Babylon Whores catalogue, the likes of Golden Bough, Babes In The Abyss and, in particular, the blackened soul-rock splurge of The Devil And All His Works have such keen hooks and are so elegantly executed that the slightly glossier delivery feels more like the refining of a grand vision. Meanwhile, HIM fans should be all over this band like a dose of knob-rot.

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.