Reign of Terror is one of this years most hotly anticipated releases and thankfully it doesn’t let us down. Whilst début Treats was an interesting experiment and gave Sleigh Bells a place on the blogosphere, at its core sound like an album put together in pieces without a proper or officially project unsure of whether or not it was guitar or sample based. Which is exactly what it was. It was written mostly by guitarist Derek Miller as a studio project without the influence of Alison Krauss. It would of course be easy to draw parallels between another atmospheric noise pop male/female duo in the form of Crystal Castles. In truth though Sleigh Bells are far more melodic and Crystal Castles should be considered more in terms of electronic music.
The overall theme of the album is overcome something. The Reign of Terror title suggests something sinister to be overcome and songs like Never Say Die, The Comeback Kid, and Leader of the Pack which are optimistic are all juxtaposed with songs like D.O.A and Born To Lose. This feeling of overcoming is mirrored in the music. Krauss’ vocal is often more of a group chant than an actual tune, though upon closer inspection we can discern bubblegum melodies! The guitar parts are so loud and heavily produced they would sound stupid and ironic if they didn’t fit so perfectly with the sports stadium like atmosphere conjured by the production.
Overall an excellent second album from the Brooklyn band.