Monday 21 March 2016

SIERRA - 72 (EP Review)

Release date: March 04th 2016. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

72 – Tracklisting

I) Prologue 1972
II) Dead or Dreaming
III) Seventies Pigs
IV) Agatha
V) Black Fin
VI) To Hear You
VII) She Waits

Band Members:

Jason Taylor - Vocals, Guitars
Robbie Carvalho - Bass, Guitars, Piano


Sierra's new EP – 72 – sees the band move away from the sound they created on their acclaimed debut album, P-Slip released back in 2013. The Stoner Metal vibes have been replaced by an almost operatic style prog rock sound.

Truth be told I heard this EP months ago as Jason kindly provided me with a copy to listen to. I actually met Jason last year in person and he told me what this EP was about and I was shocked as the concept of the EP is based on a true story. I'll let the PR sheet info tell you what the EP is all about:

72 tells the story of a murder that took place in their hometown of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario back in the 1970s.

The concept is based on a true story, which was told to vocalist/guitarist Jason Taylor. A man, now in his sixties, told Jason about how his girlfriend was taken and murdered by a group of men on her sixteenth birthday. Unfortunately, he was the last person seen with her alive, and he was accused and harassed by the town and police for a solid year. It wasn't until one of the men killed himself and in a suicide note admitted what he had done that he was cleared of all charges.”

That's pretty much how Jason explained the concept of the EP last year. I was thinking at the time this is going to be an awesome record or it could be an overblown mess. Though I'm happy to report 72 is an excellent record. It sees Sierra create a heavy and monolithic prog-rock odyssey which draws influences from Opeth, Pink Floyd and even The Who. Jason's vocals are reminiscent of Mikael Ã…kerfeldt at times.

The instrumental work is superb through-out as Sierra hold your attention with finely tuned prog riffs. Some people will miss the Stoner sounds of P-Slip but even that album had moments of Prog Rock on some of the songs.

With the EP based on a disturbing and bleak subject matter, Sierra create a heavy doom and gloom atmosphere even on the quieter acoustic parts. It's a challenging listen but one that richly rewards you for your time and patience spent listening to the record. Jason told me some bold plans about this EP and how he wants to perform it live. Just like some of the legendary bands that influenced Sierra when recording this EP. I hope he manages to pull it off and someone manages to record the event. As if this EP is performed live in it's entirety then that will be something special.

Anyway, I digress. 72 is a masterclass of Prog Rock that you should all check out now especially if you're new to the heavy prog sounds of SIERRA. Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Jason for the CD to review and Earsplit PR for the promo. 72 is available to buy on CD/DD now.


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