When it comes to the Austrian metal scene, bands like Belphegor, Abigor, Edenbridge and Pungent Stench name a few are all contributing to make great music all around. Little did I know, I came across a blackened thrash metal band known as Transilvania whos style for the genre is not only fluent, flexible and extremely highly accessible but for combining two well known genres into one killer release was surely the wait and surprise to see what the music stands out. Musically, Transilvania reminds me a cross hybrid of Storm The Lights Bane era of Dissection due to the melodic soundscapes and little traces of early Unanimated preferably the In the Forest of the Dreaming Dead days since it has the death metal sprinkles with a touch of melodic black metal tendencies but this time around, Transilvania’s musical compositions, craftsmanship, soundscapes, dynamics and arrangements creating music since their formation in 2014 started has been a nice treat for my time listening to this album.
Of Sleep And Death is the sophomore album prior to 2018’s debut full-length of The Night Of Nights but with this album, they’ve gotten the instrumentals, leads, hooks and lyricism involving different themes from horror stories, vampirism, and Satanism narrowed down as this feels more matured, heavier, polished and ambitious while maintaining their signature style on the last album with some twists and turns to make Of Sleep And Death mesmerizing. This album is also released through Invictus Productions which is a label based out of Dublin Ireland specializing in black, doom and death metal releases and for something like this, Transilvania’s embodiment of work being around for quite sometime in the underground has surpassed me from a lyrical, musical and technical standpoint this release has gotten some outstanding production while it feels not overly frosty and lo-fi sounding as you can hear like a Norwegian black metal album from Darkthrone, but to really understand the value and art these Austrian’s given to us is special.
From the commendable signatures of Lycanthropic Chant being chaotic and destructible as it should be to the accessible, filtered and assaulted leads of Underneath Dying Stars and Heart Harvest, you will hear the compassion and soul these musicians have crafted these songs where I’m almost sensing a braver, bolder, heroic and mysticism approach where the tracks don’t entirely feel forced or fleshed out but it does a remarkable job pushing the core elements of the blackened, thrashy and sprinkled death metal touches and flairs to give a ghoulish and grotesque atmosphere is the biggest highlight for me listening to this album. Of Sleep And Death by Transilvania not only won me immediately by the breathtaking album artwork but to give that early to mid 90’s throwback with a modernized style this is surely going in the record books as one of the most cathartic albums of 2021.
Overall Score: 9.0/10
Review by Jake Butler