Reign of Terror - Sleigh Bells
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. Elsewhere it's just sweet sensation. Succumb‑-succumb.
  2. 90
    Sleigh Bells take one of the most confident and surefooted steps forward a band could take for a follow-up album, eschewing the storied sophomore pitfalls in favor of a sharper, fuller sound.
  3. Feb 21, 2012
    88
    With Reign of Terror Sleigh Bells proves they've got more than one formula they can tear apart.
  4. Feb 21, 2012
    88
    Reign of Terror is way awesomer [than Treats].
  5. Feb 21, 2012
    84
    Extremely loud, snarling and exciting, it takes the duo's signature mash-up of '80s metal, '50s girl-group and '70s arena-rock sensibilities and cranks up the tension to Adderall-overdose levels.
  6. 83
    Reign of Terror, their follow-up, features all the cheap boom-box beats and Guitar Hero riffs that made their debut such a head rush.
  7. Feb 21, 2012
    82
    Sleigh Bells pull off this more sophisticated and nuanced approach without calling attention to their improved craft or maturity.
  8. Mar 21, 2012
    80
    Packs a visceral wallop, at moments far more bruising than anything on their predecessor. [Mar 2012, p.86]
  9. Mar 21, 2012
    80
    Reign of Terror is evidence that these kids never stopped Armageddonit even once they got punk cool.
  10. Mar 12, 2012
    80
    It's impressive to hear how Sleigh Bells rock so hard with so little. [19 Feb 2012, p.52]
  11. Feb 28, 2012
    80
    Sleigh Bells may have topped themselves here, but it's a case of more being less.
  12. Feb 28, 2012
    80
    Reign of Terror builds on the success of Treats without breaking from it, establishing Krauss and Miller as masters of their craft.
  13. 80
    Sleigh Bells' sophomore LP is unlikely to be met with the same peerless adulation as its predecessor, but Reign of Terror still seduces with an uncanny knack for extracting a pioneering spirit out of musty source material.
  14. Feb 27, 2012
    80
    An effortless conflation of over-amped belligerence and feisty pop mellifluousness. [Mar 2012, p.94]
  15. Feb 23, 2012
    80
    Whereas Treats was chopped and spat,Reign Of Terror galumphs like the proverbial leviathan it is.
  16. 80
    The way they've leapfrogged their contemporaries in terms of ambition and scope is terrifying. Sleigh Bells are, once again, in a league of their own.
  17. Feb 21, 2012
    80
    Stunning. [Mar 2012, p. 96]
  18. Feb 21, 2012
    80
    To put it simply where Treats was the party soundtrack, Reign of Terror is the entire party.
  19. Feb 21, 2012
    80
    Unsurprisingly, the album sounds best when it goes for broke; the more looped, harmonizing Krausses and miniature guitar solos, the better.
  20. Feb 21, 2012
    80
    Heavy-breathing sex chants with a heart of darkness.
  21. Feb 17, 2012
    80
    Reign is more nuanced and varied in sound than Treats was.
  22. Mark Reign of Terror down as a fairly successful, but ultimately transitional work.
  23. Feb 21, 2012
    75
    Nuance and volume are tough to pull off, and though Reign of Terror at times sacrifices the former for the latter, it's nevertheless an often thrilling experience.
  24. Feb 27, 2012
    70
    While it can feel like juvenilia, it's in a very endearing way, a catalogue of the catharsis of a high-school misfit.
  25. Feb 23, 2012
    70
    While Reign Of Terror may not possess anything quite as startlingly infectious as Infinity Guitars, Sleigh Bells' return shows that they are more than a one-trick pony.
  26. Feb 21, 2012
    70
    That's not to say that the siren-squeal guitars and drum-machine breakbeats aren't still a blast; but on Reign of Terror, Sleigh Bells have started thinking about what happens underneath them.
  27. Feb 21, 2012
    70
    While Reign of Terror may not yield results that are as instantly and consistently compelling as Treats did, the latest album has the potential to grow on you.
  28. Feb 17, 2012
    70
    Boy-girl group pop-rock that's polished and pleasing.
  29. Feb 21, 2012
    67
    Reign of Terror plays like a band with original ideas who got stuck in quicksand.
  30. Feb 23, 2012
    60
    Reign Of Terror still sounds like Sleigh Bells, but a more polite and conservative version.
  31. Feb 21, 2012
    60
    Having lost the shock of the new, this more tuneful follow-up privileges Krauss's pop instincts over Miller's mayhem.
  32. Feb 16, 2012
    60
    Derek Miller's flashy axemanship and Alexis Krauss' swoon are compromised by sanitized production. [Mar 2012, p.98]
  33. Feb 16, 2012
    60
    When the wrecking ball stops swinging, however, there are moments of emotional weightiness ('Leader Of The Pack') and glimpses of tenderness ('End Of The Line') that give this LP a more human edge.
  34. Feb 21, 2012
    58
    On Reign Of Terror, Sleigh Bells is cornered in by its own sound, unwilling to risk more adventurous metal excursions or get vulnerable enough to fully embrace its emerging lighter side.
  35. Feb 21, 2012
    50
    The problem is that all of the moves feel like they're pointed in the wrong direction.
  36. Feb 17, 2012
    50
    Unlike Treats, Reign Of Terror never feels new, fresh or exciting; it just feels like a chore.
  37. Feb 21, 2012
    40
    The net result is a lack of texture and the element of surprise that made this album's predecessor so wonderfully seductive.
  38. Feb 16, 2012
    40
    Everything is enormously compressed, then amplified: it's claustrophobic and oppressive, but without having any particular power.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 59 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Feb 21, 2012
    7
    Darker than the debut album "Treats", Miller brings back loud shattering guitar riffs while Krauss intrigues the listener with her beautiful and catchy voice in "Reign of Terror". The difference in R.O.T. is the dark undertone based by personal traumatic experiences and influences of a horror film. The entirety of the album is intense and addictive. Full Review »
  2. Feb 22, 2012
    4
    Reign of Terror begins with the tacky canned bang "True Shred Guitar" transitions to the decent "Born to Lose" turns up the luster with "Crush" and "End of the Line" half-heartedly attempts to regain Treats badassery with "Leader of the Pack" "Comeback Kid" and "Demons" ensues with seemingly endlessly ear-rape on "Road to Hell" (nudged next to the farty shoegaze failure of "You Lost Me") and ends with the almost-satisfying "Never Say Die" and "D.O.A." I appreciate Sleigh Bells exploring a new direction, but the incorporation of the faux-gauze pop-rock sleaze makes the album feel awkward and just 'OK'. The beats unnecessarily take backseat while Alexis' shrill voice tumbles through radio-flavored hoops with Derek's guitar trying (and failing) to reign terror. I didn't feel that this album incorporated ENOUGH innovation, either shoegaze it to heaven and back or burn it to dust with bass-flecked distortion. The songs definitely have interesting concepts, but the ideas are not built upon nearly enough and tracks drone on in chunky sing-song loops. Full Review »
  3. Feb 22, 2012
    9
    People may say it is not fresh and new as 'Treats' was, but no one can deny they've grown. The musics have much more to say, the beats are even more noise-pop, and we can hear a lot of metal-influenced melodies all around. Watch out "Never Say Die", "D.O.A." and "Comeback Kid" (that seems to be a continuation to "Kids", from 'Treats'). It's like they throw Daft Punk, Van Halen and Aerosmith in a blender and mixed their music styles and references to compose this album. And it is a good damn thing. Full Review »