I love the Greek Stoner Rock scene.
While much of the European Heavy Rock/Metal love goes to Scandinavia (or, in some cases, Italy or Germany), Greece has a huge number of excellent underground bands, including genre touchstones like 1000mods (popular for their Stoner Rock staple, “Vidage”) and Nightstalker (a band that has become the stuff of legends).
And then there’s Godsleep, a band beloved for their fuzz, Psychedelic tendencies, and catchy, hard-rockin’ songs.
With Lies to Survive, the band’s first album since 2018’s Coming of Age, Godsleep once again expands its sound while proving it can write hook after hook after hook.
Hailing from Athens, Godsleep first burst onto the scene with 2015’s critically acclaimed Thousand Sons of Sleep, a retro-inspired, Desert Rock romp packed with big riffs and tasty guitar licks similar to 1000mods.
2018’s Coming of Age showcased a new singer (Amie Markis)—who brought a new swagger and attitude to the band’s ultra-catchy melodies—and a refined songwriting approach that shortened the tracks ever so slightly to fit into the Alt Rock/Hard Rock mold.
Lies to Survive Album Review
Release Date: April 7, 2023
Label: Ouga Booga and the Mighty Oug
Track 1 – Booster
“Booster” opens unexpectedly after Thousand Sons of Sleep and Coming of Age with a pretty synth. While unusual for Godsleep, it’s appropriate for Lies to Survive, as there’s much more synth to come. It would be a soothing approach if it wasn’t for vocalist Amie Markis’ characteristic voice, which nearly shouts over the synth to create tension.
Almost exactly in the middle of the track, the sound shifts to a frantic, full-instrumental attack. It’s not quite the Godsleep we’ve come to expect so far, but it’s a thrilling little discursion.
Track 2 – Pots of Hell
“Pots of Hell” was a single ahead of the full album release—and there’s some merit to that decision. “Pots of Hell” is bursting with tension and a dramatic primary riff, while Markis uses her stylized, Punk-inspired bark to wail over a piercing guitar and thumping bass. There are a number of songs that would have made equally compelling singles, but the edge goes to “Pots of Hell” for its energy and drama.
Track 3 – Room 404
“Room 404” relies on an unsettling (and quite spooky) intro and chorus to create a sense of unease. Despite this, “Room 404” also has one of the catchiest sections of the entire album within its bridge and conclusion.
Track 4 – Saturday
Bright and fun, “Saturday” could have easily been a single. Singable and laid back, “Saturday” is catchy radio rock infused with Stoner Rock goodness. I’ve been walking around singing the chorus to “Saturday” lately, and I think you’ll do the same!
Track 5 – Cracks
With a mountainous riff, fuzzy lead guitar, and that big wall of sound, “Cracks” sounds like it could have been a single on Coming of Age. This is the type of energy we’ve come to expect from Godsleep, and we once again find Markis singing an earworm melody that you’ll hum to yourself later on.
Track 6 – Breakfast
Although “Breakfast” has vocals, it still feels like an interlude track. Featuring laid-back Stoner Rock vibes propelled by a thick bass line and soft vocals from Markis, there’s something hypnotic about “Breakfast” that gives us a quick break.
Track 7 – Pavement
“Now it’s time to party!” Markis says on “Pavement”—and she’s right. “Pavement” is a thrilling, upbeat track with Punk energy and Godsleep hooks.
Track 8 – Better Days
After the rush of “Pavement,” “Better Days” starts much slower, relying on a beautiful keyboard and percussion to drive itself forward. Markis’ vocals are beautifully sung and double-tracked, contributing to that light, ethereal feel.
Eventually, though, the band comes alive in full force, exploding in the band’s charming Alt Rock approach.
Track 9 – Egonation
“Egonation” is vaguely Space Rock with that wide range of instrumentation. This is a hypnotic track with towering vocals and piercing guitar solos—all of which are later punctuated by a breathless, ultra-catchy conclusion.
Track 10 – Permanent Vacation
“Permanent Vacation” contains a few unexpected twists and turns for Godsleep. While it originally sounds like a Puscifer track (which is unexpected enough), it eventually exhibits a steller Tool impression—especially with the approach to percussion and that distinctive guitar tone. It’s a little out of place for Godsleep, but it’s an awesome song nonetheless.
Track 11 – Last Song
As with the opener, “Last Song” relies on a great deal of synth to move itself forward, and that creates a sort of Synthwave vibe in the first half of the song (especially with those programmed drums). As the rest of the band joins in, “Last Song” transforms into a dramatic event with an ethereal close to the album.
Standout Tracks: “Saturday,” “Cracks,” and “Permanent Vacation”
Pros: Lies to Survive is a bold move forward for Godsleep. With their open embrace of Alternative Rock/Metal, they’ve accepted a variety of new sounds into their sonic palette—creating a richer tapestry than they had on Coming of Age or Thousand Sons of Sleep.
And although they’re exploring new sounds, they’re doing so while retaining that same ear for catchy choruses and crowd-pleasing riffs (which is exactly what made Coming of Age an especially great album).
Lies to Survive brings Godsleep to a fork in the road. Continuing in one direction will push them fully into Alternative Rock and leave their Stoner Rock roots behind. I’m curious to see what their next album brings!
Cons: Anyone who fell in love with Godsleep during the Thousand Sons of Sleep era will be heartbroken. Coming of Age was already a stark shift in sound (especially vocally), and Lies to Survive is another dramatic change of events that pulls them further away from those Desert Rock roots.