Album Review: Sleigh Bells, Reign of Terror

To tell every one the honest truth I had been putting off listening to the new album by Sleigh Bells. This is because of my fear that I wouldn’t like the new album upon the first listen. With already getting a taste of the first 3 singles off of the record before listening to the entirety of the album I had mixed reviews. Upon first listen I forgot why I was scared to listen and wondered why I was so scared? Although, I recommend proceeding with caution and if at first you do not like the new album give it a second listen. The second listen is the most important because you will realize if an album is growing on you or if you just simply do not like it.

From the start with “True Shred Guitar” it feels like you are at a stadium rock show. With all of the crowd noise and Alexis Krauss screaming “What the fuck’s up?” it gets you going and ready for a live show or the album. The new album Reign of Terror plays out like a live performance and before long Derek Edward Miller is coming in with his high-powered machine. His guitar and stack of amps smack you in the face while Alexis gets you ready for the show. The album continues on with back-to-back singles that have already been released. “Born to Lose” is my least favorite of the 3 that they released but it is starting to grow on me. Especially when combined with the first song on the album.

Up next, they go to the track “Crush” and this song is my favorite single that they have released from this album. It features again a live crowd helping along with the chorus and chanting in the background of the entire song. It has a good ring to it and it is very cool how the duo from New York City used an original strategy in creating these almost melodic cult rock chant songs. They slow it up with the next to tracks on the album but this is a style that I haven’t heard too much of by Sleigh Bells. “End of the Line” is another great track that shows the softer side of the Sleigh Bells. This song may even be my favorite on the entire album and I could see it being the next single released off the album. Alexis has such a sweet voice in the song and talks so beautifully over the top of the track. I am absolutely in love.

“Comeback Kid” follows the two softer songs and comes back at you with a classic Sleigh Bells sound. Heavy bass, in your face guitar and Alexis’s sweet voice greet your ears with a glimpse into the past while showing you the band still has a bright future. Again, “Demons” is a heavy rock anthem that reminds you of the good old days. The duo follows up the two classic style songs by slowing it down with “Road to Hell”. Once again I am brought in by the slower more passionate Sleigh Bells. Although, she is saying “Road to Hell” it sounds like such a blissful place to be going.

“You Lost Me” is another slow, dreamy song that features Alexis’s voice and at the 3:20 mark it there is a great guitar rift by Derek. These new songs are so well put together and thought out. With more slow songs that feature her voice this album surpasses the first on quality work. I like these slow songs that inspire dream sequences that allow you to go somwhere else. “Never Say Die” is a song that seems to brainwash you with it’s sound. It is like Sleigh Bells is saying this sound is our religion and we are going to drive this message into your head. They finish up the album with the track “D.O.A.” and by this point you aren’t ready for the end.

The new album is more “dreamy” than their previous album. I think overall it is a better listen front to back. For a sophomore album I am very impressed and think that the sound of this album would translate to a live show very well. Even though, they do a great job making it seem like you are already at a live show. Reign of Terror is a must if you enjoyed the first album by Sleigh Bells. If you were scared like me to listen to the album in the entirety, all I can say is don’t be. Overcoming the fear of failure for the band is the first step in realizing how good the second album is. Now, when does their third album come out?

Album Release Date: February 21, 2012


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