• 8/10
    SLEEP OF THETIS - Thin Limits - 8/10


Release date: November 7, 2006

User Review
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One has got to love pleasant surprises, as rare as they are, because no one can complain that not enough bands were signed by various labels, and that for your particular favorite style not enough releases were issued. Sometimes it even feels that everybody who accidently holds a guitar correctly gets a record deal. So you can imagine that sometimes a reviewer’s feelings are quite mixed when it comes to an independent release … occasionally one has to force himself to begin working on a CD while other releases of better known artists are lying in wait. Also, once in a while, the result is that the reviewer is only a tiny bit short of flagellating himself because he did not discover such a jewel before.

This has not ever been truer than here. Sleep Of Thetis’ album Thin Limits has to be forced OUT of the CD player instead of in. The five Italians made one of the absolute highlights of 2006 -– if you are open-minded. They merely scratch traditional Metal at times; mostly they anchor in the shores around Melancholic Pop Rock island. Originally rooted in the Thrash scene (at least as far as you can extract from their all-Italian Web site), Sleep Of Thetis released four demos so far, and Thin Limits is their first full-length album. The band consists of two women and three guys, and with the female voice / male voice set-up, they could be easily labelled as the average Gothic band – only they aren’t. Silvia Viglione’s voice is everything but the angelistic, opera style, Tarja-type siren repeated by oh so many other bands, and while the music may occasionally also dip into this style, it will certainly fail to impress the make-up disguised, frills-covered Death coquetting Goth fan.

To describe the music, it’s best to just pick a few tracks from the album to fathom the boundaries of their musical universe:

“From Heaven”: The opening track is one of the heaviest on the album. A heavy guitar riff gushes into a keyboard lead with clear female vocals that could be from an Evanescence song, only it has a stronger Pop appeal, maybe as if Anneke van Giersbergen of The Gathering would have helped.

“Best Of Me”: Another of the harder tracks of Thin Limits; a very audible keyboard dominates a guitar wall of sound over which a Dido/Substyle vocal mix opens out into a very melodic chorus –- one of the catchy parts that compels one to hear the album over and over again.

“My Worst Enemy”: Now the album is slowing down, and here they sound like the Italian answer to The Gathering. Only, this is darker, and Silvia’s vocals have a definite Kate Bush intonation that makes you wonder how good this lady really is.

“Learning”: Here is where Metal disappears completely. There is hardly any guitar in the whole song. The track inserts a slight Rock feeling into a mix of Lisa Stansfield Pop to a good helping of Bar Jazz. Not Metal Express Radio material, for sure, but great Piano play!

“Liar”: Nicola Cozzi, the bass player and singer, takes over most of the vocals in this song, which has a certain eighties verse of The Cure quality and feel, before the two vocalists together dive into a remarkable Hard Rockin’ chorus.

“The Gift”: When you hear the first sounds, the band is doomed to be mistaken for Anathema. But then, Silvia joins in and it becomes a fragile, delicate, and beautiful piece of music you have to listen to very carefully, all the time afraid the work may come to harm.

“Back Again”: A beautiful Piano played by Martina Monferrini sets the tone for this song, where a Heather Nova melody meets the Dutch style of Melancholic Rock of Moon Of Sorrow or The Gathering origin.

All other compositions are somewhere in-between, with maybe half of the album being compatible to a Metal page, including a cover version from Saigon Kick’s “Flesh And Bones.”

But, weren’t Metalheads always known for their tolerance? What other musical genre can combine Thrash and Gothic, Death and Glam, Hardcore and Prog Rock? So, music fans can also embrace Sleep Of Thetis, and enjoy it, right? Because, the only attribute that seems to fit this album is one rarely used to describe one of the albums most Metalheads’ shelves: Beautiful.


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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