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Some things aren't easy to describe. It's not easy for me to describe all of the reasons why this happens to be my favorite Rotting Christ album compared to all of their other wonderful releases, it's hard for me to describe in words, so I'll take the challenge.
I remember when this album came out back in 1999. I was already a huge Rotting Christ fan, and when I first heard this album I was immediately connected to the atmosphere of this recording. It was exactly what I was in the "mood" for those 9 years ago. Today, I'm still in that mood.
Sleep Of The Angels is obviously a different character than previous albums of theirs, and ones to follow. It has a very melancholy feel about it, that creates an atmosphere of its own. Every song on here is a classic. There isn't one aspect of this album I can fault. I would list any problems I had right here and now if I could, but I've listened to this album so many times, you can trust me when I say there isn't anything wrong with the songs on this album, that is if you appreciate the mid to late 90's Century Media "dark metal" sound.
I see a lot of similar terms people have used over the years describing the sounds of Rotting Christ. "black metal", "dark metal", "gothic metal", etc. For the sake of giving curious listeners a better chance of understanding this album, I would say that this could be viewed as a "dark metal" album. Not unlike how Tiamat and Samael released dark metal albums. Rotting Christ were on Century Media records those days as were the two previously mentioned bands, and I was really into the "Century Media" sound of those days. It's too bad CM no longer has the quality that it had a decade ago.
I don't see any point for me to describe all of the songs individually. Chances are, if you've taken the time to read my review this far, you might be interested in checked out this great chapter in Rotting Christ's discography. I love all of their albums, but this one has a personal/emotional connection that their other albums don't quite have to me. It could have been some personal stuff I was going through back then. This album sure does strike up a lot of nostalgia in me, especially in the Fall.
This album came with a compilation cd called "Darkness We Feel". Basically, it was a compilation of similar "dark metal" bands. I mention this cd for the fact that a little known Rotting Christ song appears on it called "Moonlight". This sounds like it could be a b-side to Sleep Of The Angels, but I'm not 100% sure. All I know is that it sounds like it could have ended up on the album. It's one of my favorite Rotting Christ songs though, that is for sure.
I'll end this review by saying that this is my first review on this website. Sleep Of The Angels is my favorite album by one of my favorite metal bands. Out of the respect for this album and this band, I give it my highest mark in hope others may discover it's brilliance.
Listen and enjoy.