It becomes a tough task to review an album under two circumstances. The first is when the record is jaw droppingly amazing, that it becomes hard to put into words the experience of listening to that album. The second, as is the case with Sloth.’s new full length, is when the record is so repetitive that the music kind of melds together in your mind, making it hard to describe. The title, ‘Slow as Shit’ does a good job in warning the listener of the contents of the record. It’s not that the music itself is bad, but the fact that there is not much in terms of variety or innovation makes this record hardly enjoyable.
There seems to exist a weird fascination for monoliths among doom metal bands. With various sludge and doom metal bands talking about monoliths in their songs and a few bands sharing that name, this affinity between the two has existed for a while now. May be the sonic weight of doom riffs takes inspiration from the actual weight of monoliths. Or maybe the connection is based more on the mystifying aspect surrounding monolith as shown by H.P. Lovecraft in ‘Dagon’. Here we have a band called Behold! The Monolith and they play, sludge / doom metal. But unlike most of their peers, they don’t merely play music that is slow, heavy and crushing. On their third full length, ‘Architects of the Void’, they twist and bend the doom genre by incorporating elements from polarizing sub genres like thrash metal.
When I first started out listening to heavy metal, I used to buy loads of magazines like Metal Hammer, Rock Street Journal etc., partly due to the compilations such magazines offered. These compilations and album samplers often pointed me in the directions of bands I liked and were a great source for finding new material before the bandcamp era. So it is good to see compilations still being relevant today. Following last year’s ‘Operation: Underground’ compilation, Bluntface Records turn their focus towards the metal talent in the New England area with their new free compilation, 27 Tons of Metal New England. Consisting of 27 tracks, this compilation does a good job of representing the talent present in Massachusetts and surrounding areas.
Seeking a break from all the grind, death and black metal that I compulsively fill my life with, I focussed my attention on the debut effort of Colorado based Khemmis. I am glad I did this, because ‘Absolution’ is one of finest pieces of doom metal to come out this year. The doom presented on this record is of the purest variety. The slow pace of the songs and the guitar work, carry a hypnotic effect, perfect for after a session of toking some good herbs. The thick sludgy tone of the music adds some extra girth to the perfectly crafted riffs.
Last year, when this website was launched, we put together a compilation of underground death metal tracks (which you can still find here) and on that compilation, we featured Warcrab from U.K.. Last year these guys released their EP titled ‘Ashes of Carnage’ and somehow it slipped under our radar. Now Contagion Records recently re-released this EP and this time, I’m not going to miss the opportunity to talk about it. Sonically, Warcrab make one of the heaviest forms of metal by marrying sludge metal atmosphere and thick guitar tones with death metal song writing.