Though it was an artistic triumph in no uncertain terms, 'Waiting For A Miracle' was always destined to be no more than a cult success. This being a time when record labels were just as concerned with quality as much as sales figures, The Comsat Angels retreated back into the studio to record the follow-up release, free from the pressure of producing their "big hit". Listening to 'Sleep No More', it's hardly surprising as it's an inescapably dark record, deliberately slow-paced and uncompromising. Amazingly, it also proved to be their highest charting record (no. 51 in the UK in 1981).
'Sleep No More' is a record of mood rather than melody and what melodies there are tend to be driven by Kevin Bacon's bass; exemplified by the brilliant 'Be Brave' and 'Dark Parade'; the epic centrepiece of the record. Just as crucial in the overall feel of the album is Mik Glaisher's drumming; pushed heavily into the mix, he pounds the percussion with venom on the likes of 'Gone', 'Diagram' and 'Light Years'. Andy Peake's moment occurs on the title track; a mysterious near-ambient piece that is subtly unsettling. The final part of the jigsaw is Stephen Fellows who is in his most abrasive and dramatic form with the guitar whilst his voice cries out like some form of desparate soul music. Relief from the seemingly ominpresent sense of doom arrives right at the end of the record as 'Our Secret' reverts to the more traditional verse-chorus format. Obviously, the almost suffocating lack of optimism makes 'Sleep No More' a challenging listen but after several airings, it begins to take hold, dragging you in to a nightmarish world that could only emanate from the North of England.