Apogean – Sleap-e – Carpet – PLAYHOUSE – album reviews

Today it’s the turn of ‘Canadian tech/prog death metal group Apogean’, the ‘raucous, unpolished and playful album by Italian singer-songwriter Sleap-e’.’ The mixture of ‘prog rock, psychedelic music, stoner rock and jazz’ on Carpet’s new album and the reissued collection of singles from ‘premiere honey souled indie rock band’ PLAYHOUSE.

Apogean – Cyberstrictive

The Artisan Era

This lot are from Canada and play tech/prog death metal. Not being very good on my various metal genres I will simply agree and say that this is either blisteringly metal or on occasion quieter metal leading to more blisteringness. It’s varied enough to be interesting and keep you listening all the way through which, to be honest, I don’t manage if it’s too much of the same thing. Great playing, nasty singing and a wonderfully bleak feel to it. It says here that it’s a disclosure of the dark aspects of technology. I don’t know about that, but the guitars are cool.

Sleap-e – 8106

Bronson Recordings

This has a very do it yourself feel, it’s rough and ready. The guitars are strummed underneath the voice which is goes from annoyingly to hard and angry. When it slips into a full band it’s punk rock and ace, it’s then kind of stuck between the two, full band and guitar strums but whichever it is, it’s a charmingly loose, lo-fi affair and even if it takes a couple of listens to appreciate it does get under your skin. The songs are heartfelt and emotional and it feels real, not contrived.

Carpet – Collision

Kapitän Platte

I really like the instrumentation on this record. It goes from heavy with a swing to sparkling jazz interludes, the songs are long enough to breath and grow into themselves. They circle around and keep you focused on what’s going on. It verges on being epic and pompous but pulls itself away from the edge. Having said all that though. I wish that this had been an instrumental album. The vocals fit the music and are melodic, emotional and well sung. But for me, they leave me cold, are not needed at all and detract from the impact of the record. 


God Unknown Records

Now this is a great album. Back in the 90’s Playhouse were on the up and up, championed by the music papers, John Peel and a bunch of decent support slots, but a broken drummer’s leg put paid to it all. They released three seven inch singles which are collected here alongside outtakes and a Sebadoh cover. It’s a very nineties alternative rock sound, verging on grunge and shoegaze, very fuzzy and emotional and it’s just a really good record. An excellent reissue.

Apogean’s website is apogeanofficial.com, they are on Bandcamp, Instagram and Facebook.

Sleap-e is on Bandcamp and Instagram.

Carpet are on Instagram, Facebook and Bandcamp.

PLAYHOUSE are on Bandcamp.

All words by Adrian Bloxham.

Adrian Bloxham

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