Sunday 14 June 2015

Sons Of Huns - While Sleeping Stay Awake (Album Review)

While Sleeping Stay Awake cover art

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: July 19th 2015
Label: RidingEasy Records

While Sleeping Stay Awake - Track Listing:

1.Osiris Slain
2.Ad Astra
3.An Evil Unseen 03:41
4.Eye In The Sky
5.Philospher's Stone
6.Alchemist Part I
7.Alchemist Part II
8.While Sleeping Stay Awake
9.The Reaper Is Waiting For You


Throughout their reign in the Pacific Northwest music scene, Sons of Huns have become widely known for their ability to turn every live show into a sci-fi, psychedelic-rock party and livening the spirit of every crowd with their jokes and unforgiving volume.


Pete Hughes: guitar/vox
Ryan Northrop: drums
Aaron Powell: bass/vox


This is my first encounter with Sons of Huns but it seems they won the admiration of many stoner rock aficionados with their debut “Banishment Ritual” back in 2013. After a spin of “While Sleeping Stay Awake” it’s easy to see why.

The Portland trio blend oddball retro doom, driving stoner rock, grimy thrash and a dash of NWOBHM to create a heady, intoxicating brew. Imagine combining the best elements of Saviours, Danava and Fu Manchu for maximum hard-rocking effect. The musical heaviness is equalled by the lyrics, covering weighty issues of life and mortality in response to singer and guitarist Pete Hughes experience of chronic pain after contracting Lyme Disease 16 years ago. This is no hollow, good-time, party record, there’s real soul behind the riffs here.

Osiris Slain” kicks off proceeding in high gear and demonstrates all that is great about the Sons in five minutes; sweet riffs, awesome song-writing and incredible instrumental sections. It’s these instrumental sections where the band really shines, jamming hard yet still crafting indelible melodies like the best of 70s classic rock mixed with “Master of Puppets”-era Metallica.

Sons of Huns seem to have some friends in high places too, roping in doom legend Wino and the Melvins’ Dale Crover for guest appearances on the record. Wino lends his vocals to “An Evil Unseen”, an urgent, doomy ballad that provides the album’s highlight. Pete Hughes’ vocals are powerful throughout the album but the addition of Wino’s weathered croon really takes things up a level. Dale Crover does what he does best on “Philosopher’s Stone”, adding a second layer of drums which reach a crescendo as the track powers off into the distance at its conclusion. With guests of this calibre, it wouldn’t surprise me if the trumpet during the bombastic conclusion of rollicking closer “The Reaper Is Waiting for You” was provided by a resurrected Miles Davis.

There are a lot of generic, retro doom bands around nowadays following the rise of Uncle Acid and the like. Sons of Huns set themselves apart from the competition by taking influences from the past but making their music sound current and vital instead of a lifeless recreation. “While Sleeping Stay Awake” should fully satisfy the band’s current fanbase and swell their ranks further in 2015.

Words by Charlie Butler

Thanks to Dave at US/THEM PR Group for sending ourselves the promo to review. While Sleeping Stay Awake is released on July 21st 2015 on CD/DD/Vinyl through RidingEasyRecords.

For More Information