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SLEEP MAPS

Experimental/Post Metal • United States


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Sleep Maps biography
SLEEP MAPS is a New York City-based soloproject of multi-instrumentalist Ben KAPLAN who writes, records and produces his own brand of Post Metal. Sound-wise, the project has many similarities with bands like DEAFHEAVEN and RUSSIAN CIRCLES, but instead of strong screamo vocals or a power trio approach, SLEEP MAPS is highlighted by its retro, radio or TV announcer spoken word clips, fluid guitar lines, and dynamic sound layering.

The project has so far released an EP "The Stars Against Men", June 2012, and the albums "Fiction Makes The Future" and "Medals", released in April and November 2012.

Biography by Rune2000

Sleep Maps official website

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SLEEP MAPS discography


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SLEEP MAPS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Fiction Makes The Future
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
Medals
2012
3.67 | 2 ratings
We Die For Truth
2014

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5.00 | 1 ratings
The Stars Against Men
2012

SLEEP MAPS Reviews


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 The Stars Against Men by SLEEP MAPS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2012
5.00 | 1 ratings

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The Stars Against Men
Sleep Maps Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Lear'sFool

— First review of this album —
5 stars An early Sleep Maps release, this is a more stressed, dark take on Kaplan's mix of ambient, post rock, and post metal. As such the metal happens more often, and is more important. The voice sample is from an old science documentary, often rendered into a deep sounding oblivion by effects. Theme here is humankind's rampaging technology, and a relation of this to the vastness of stars and space. Particularly "Post Men" sticks out, with said sample getting intentionally frozen and destroyed in the wake of the apparent death of all humanity. By the end, even the stars are out and all that is left is a cold void, but a riot still occurs throughout the cosmos. The music is as excellent as the three LPs and counting cut and dropped later by Kaplan, and the fact that this is apparently all extrapolated from various remixes and rerecordings of the opener to Sleep Maps' first LP is impressive. Electronic effects have more stage, but guitar remains as important as ever, and these most important parts are done the best. Here Kaplan pretty much set the standard for what he would be doing throughout all of post. A spectacular remix EP, it transcends the song it was forged out of by lightyears.

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 We Die For Truth by SLEEP MAPS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.67 | 2 ratings

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We Die For Truth
Sleep Maps Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Lear'sFool

5 stars Some excellent, ethereal ambient, post rock, and post metal by an up and coming band. Most of the album isn't metal, sticking in a calm and strange take on the realms that are best described as atmospheric when at their best, as Sleep Maps pulls off. "The Life Beyond" is a beautiful opener, and features voice samples ruminating on sleep, death, and the afterlife. It's not long before metal joins on later tracks, but there is mostly a disquieting but gripping calm, other voice samples fading in and out. The metal itself just adds extra texture to the total soundscape, being as well done as the rest of the music. Ben Kaplan has to be one of the very best post metal, and really post in general, artists ever. The whole record is his work, and he forged it all wonderfully, especially the keys and guitars. We are left with a desolate soundscape brought to life at times by a beautiful, powerful metal guitar. A very enjoyable combination of the best of the aforementioned genres, highly recommended.

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 We Die For Truth by SLEEP MAPS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.67 | 2 ratings

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We Die For Truth
Sleep Maps Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "The sound of a lost future"

That is how the artist describes this project, but I don't know. Maybe a lost past and a new future? Sleep Maps is the vehicle for multi-instrumentalist and Sci-Fi fan Ben Kaplan, who currently is based in California. Musical influences include Russian Circles, Isis, Smashing Pumpkins, and Deafheaven. Perhaps just as important to his apparent themes for this album are his writing influences, veteran science-fiction writers Jack Vance, Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Harlan Ellison.

"We Die For Truth" is his most ambitious project to date. It blends instrumental post-rock and post-metal into a sound which attempts to give life to lofty fictional themes with good results. Kaplan tags his work as "cinematic rock" which is absolutely fitting. Listening to this music makes me feel like I'm watching an epic sci-fi film about bleak dystopias, and yet I hear some hope in the music as well. While there is not a vocalist, Kaplan uses audio clips of scientists to give the music some human commentary, not unlike the manner in which the Floyd use Stephen Hawking. The gorgeous artwork brings much to the experience, featuring deep blues behind stars showing us the vastness of space that I believe inspires, at least partially, the music.

Kaplan tells his stories with a layered guitar assault, a wonderful mixing of soft echoey notes with heavier and massively distorted chords and chaotic effects. Sometimes it feels like post-rock with the typical emotional swoon and waves, other times it veers more metallic, heavy, dark, perhaps brushed with just a bit of Nine Inch Nails influence? Yet even these two tendencies are nicely dressed with long spacey passages of quieter mood and melody. His drumming can be a bit mechanical and uniform at times and yet this style seems to work in the context of the somewhat cold and melancholy backdrops. The 5-10 minute song lengths allow ample time for exploration and building of tension. And it often sounds like a cold, steely veneer, like movement, emptiness. The 10-minute closer "See You in a Thousand Years" is a really lovely ending for this solid album, big and bold. I think Sleep Maps has very good promise. There is attention to dynamics here without bludgeoning the listener to death. Lovers of futuristic sounding instrumental music should not delay checking this one out. 3 1/2 of 5.

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