Tragedy In Hope – Sleep Paralysis

Tragedy In Hope is a one man black metal band led by Sasha Giller out of Russia that delivers an interesting slab of black metal with his debut album, “Sleep Paralysis.” Giller does everything on the album, from vocals to the samples to instruments, and while considered ‘symphonic black metal,’ Giller delivers a more raw version of groups like Cradle Of Filth or Dimmu Borgir without being too orchestral heavy. However, right from the opening track ‘Lucid Dream’ one wouldn’t really think to consider the music black metal. The symphonics are certainly there but with the acoustic guitar and spoken word passages it almost feels more like the start of the gothic doom album, and the black metal parts don’t really show up until near the end of the track. Giller has an interesting clean voice, being able to reach certain higher pitches that almost make it feel like there are female vocals added into the mix, which while it might be annoying for some people adds an interesting layer to his music.

Other tracks like ‘The Celebration Of Despair And Woe’ are more the standard black metal fare, and this is where listeners will pick up the (older) Cradle Of Filth elements with the way the vocals are delivered and the way the riffs are structured. One can even hear some Hecate Enthroned in there. The symphonic elements are fleshed out more on a track like ‘Fighting With The Rain’ as Giller goes much more symphonic heavy on the keyboards, but still stays away from the ‘cheesy’ side of black metal as much as he can while trying to make the music sound a beautiful as possible. ‘Winter Wedding Ceremony’ is probably the most interesting but also weakest track simply for the use of the female vocal samples. While they contrast well together, certain sections seem a bit over dramatic and over played that they blow way past their effectiveness. Other tracks like ‘Nightmare Lullaby’ are much more effective at delivering the dramatic notes with the creepy keyboard lines and the switch between spoken word and black metal shrieks.

The artists even tries to touch on the heavy metal genre with some more straightforward metal riffs on a track like ‘Sleep Paralysis’ which breaks up the Cradle Of Filth laden structure and adds more death to the music, but this is short lived as the track delves back more into the symphonic black metal riffs quickly, but sprout up here and there up to the end. Overall, the presentation here is great and an interesting take on the genre once the album closes. Giller does an impressive job at his take on a symphonic black metal which tends to be laughed at (unfairly) by critics who feel black metal should be raw and uncompromising versus grandiose and beautified. Certainly, those who enjoy “Cruelty And The Beast” era Cradle Of Filth are going to love this for the faster, raw overtones with just touches of the symphonic bits, and the one fact one person does everything should impress right off the bat. Tragedy In Hope’s black metal is touching yet terrifying and certainly worth checking out for those who like a an unorthodox take on the genre without feeling like it is ridiculing itself.

3.5 / 5 STARS 

Self released
Reviewer: Colin McNamara

Feb 22, 2021

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Tragedy In Hope – Sleep Paralysis

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1. Lucid Dream
2. The Celebration Of Despair And Woe
3. Fighting With The Rain
4. Winter Wedding Ceremony
5. The Mistress Of The Dark Art
6. Nightmare Lullaby
7. Insomnius Autumnal Nights
8. Sleep Paralysis

3.5

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