Judicator - Sleepy Plessow review

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Band: Judicator
Album: Sleepy Plessow
Release date: June 2013

01. Sleepy Plessow
02. The Elector
03. Thirty Years Of Terror [feat. Paul]
04. Memory Of Shame [feat. Patrick & Paul]
05. Release Me [feat. Marilene, Paul, Austin & Elizabeth]
06. Sapphire [feat. Austin]
07. Gedenkstätte [feat. Patrick & Tyler]
08. The Philosopher King
09. Blut Vom Himmel [feat. Chad, Patrick, Alex, Elizabeth & Bryan]
10. Sea Of Fire [feat. Elizabeth]
11. When Crowns Are Shattered
12. Sans Souci

This is awesome power metal with interesting lyrics based on history; only the fact that some of the German lyrics seem to have been translated using Google Translate kind of bothers me a bit, but it's easily forgotten considering the great music behind it.

It reminds me a lot of traditional German power metal, especially Blind Guardian, which is probably largely because of John Yelland's powerful vocals that sound a lot like Hansi Kürsch to a point where I actually thought it was him singing a couple of times. Also the way the layered vocals are arranged is very reminiscent of BG. Yelland's already impressive vocals are augmented by Tony Cordisco's unclean vocals, as well as an array of talented guest musicians.
While BG was obviously a huge influence, Judicator also bring enough of their own ideas to the table to make them stand out, especially among the lot of "play a generic riff/chord progression/solo as fast as you can, sing about a generic fantasy story and call it a day" type of power metal bands.

The songs are never cheesy, nor are they your run-of-the-mill power metal anthems, while they still manage to be catchy, which certainly is a fine balance to strike. And while I absolutely love all of the songs on their own, I have one complaint when looking at them in the context of the album: a lot of the songs kind of start to sound the same very soon. However, the stellar vocal performance and arrangement, the equally good and elaborate production, and the interesting lyrical content were enough to make this one of my top 3 favorite power metal albums of the 2010s so far.

This is made even more impressive considering that Judicator basically just consists of two guys and some guest musicians.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9

Written by Antares8001 | 19.05.2017


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
R Lewis
I'd like to start by saying that it's thanks to bands like Judicator that power metal still isn't dead; bands able to melt the better features of "old" monsters of the genre in a totally personal way, escaping from the many stereotypes born around this style.

Judicator is a two man band which hails from the USA, and Sleepy Plessow, which tells the tormented life of Frederick the Great, "the philosopher king", which reigned in Prussia in the second half of the 18th century, is only the second album of their career. They started in 2012 with King Of Rome, recounting the well-known story of Napoleon. Despite their youth, the band already shows an appreciable songwriting maturity, inherited from masters such as Blind Guardian or compatriots Iced Earth.

published 25.06.2013 | Comments (2)

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