FORGOTTEM GEMS: SLEEPY HOLLOW-1989-1992: REST IN PIECES
Sleepy Hollow was one of those bands who released classic 80's inspired metal, got great reviews, had a huge cult following and then for whatever reason just disappeared. Featuring the one and only Bob Mitchell (Alchemy X, Attacker, Vyndykator) on vocals this New Jersey band formed in 1989 and played metal inspired by Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and the NWOBHM movement. With Steve Stegg on guitar the band recorded a demo shortly after forming (later it would be released as A Legend Retold) before recording their self-titled album in 1991. Released on Azra the album quickly became a cult favorite among the metal community. Sadly though the original line-up broke up after the release. While Bob Mitchell attempted to carry on Sleepy Hollow (at times featuring Attacker guitarists Pat Marinelli and Jim Mooney as well as Symphony X's Mike Lepond) by 1993 the band were done for good. Unisound Records released this album in 2002. Collecting both albums it allowed old and new fans a chance to experience a piece of this legendary band. With crunchy guitars, pounding drums and Bob Mitchell's trademark voice this is easily one of the better examples of prime American heavy/power metal. While the band flirted with speed metal they really were more about laying down heavy and flashy metal not unlike Mitchell's work in Attacker. The band may have faded into obscurity if not for the fans that embraced them and their upfront and straight shooting style. In late 2010 the band announced that they had reformed. With an album due out shortly I just now had the chance to listen to one of their new tracks, the song "Midnight". First thing that struck me is that Bob Mitchell and Steve Stegg sound just as good together now as they did all those years ago. The metal is still crunchy with enough force behind it to make one drool with anticipation for the new disc! Hopefully the new album will secure Sleepy Hollows true place among metals greats. They deserve that. The band played with a lot of heart and gave their fans what they wanted: no frills metal that stood the test of time. With so many of these older bands reforming now it would be easy to be cynical and assume for some it is all about the money. You can tell when you hear the music for those types of bands in that it lacks true passion. Not so with Sleepy Hollow as "Midnight" is a well crafted number offering hope that time has been good to the band. The skill is there as well as the drive giving us a chance to see Sleepy Hollow finally get the due they deserved. If the rest of the album is as good as "Midnight" then Sleepy Hollow will have a winner on their hands. I truly hope so.