Sadhus “The Smoking Community” start us of with their track, Abduction, which is almost six minutes of heaviosity.
This is slow, lazy and heavy, just as sludgy doom should be. It gives a strong impression of the band on stage, heads down, peeling off heavy riffs with stoned concentration and fanatical glee.
This reminds me of a cross between Fister and Dopethrone, with a touch of Electric Wizard in places.
The vocals are high pitched screams that carry a lot of weight, although nowhere near as much as the music, which is heavy and tar-thick. The band offer us a lighter respite near the middle of the track, but apart from this we’re in full-on distortion-mode.
I haven’t encountered Sadhus “The Smoking Community” before, which is a shame as based on this track alone, they’re making a lot of right moves.
We now turn to Agnes Vein, with Voice to the Void, which lasts over five minutes.
Like their split-mates before them, Agnes Vein have a very heavy sound that is solid and powerful. The band play in similar territory, only their sludge metal has an added blackened sheen to it; from the singer’s scathing screams or twisted moans, to the darkened edge of the monstrous riffs, this is a bleak fusion of black metal and sludge.
Although slow and heavy, the black metal influences make for a more upbeat version of this, imbuing the track with a greater energy than the lethargic colossal crush of the previous band’s offering.
This is a very enjoyable split that shows off the talents of two bands that are exploring similar ground, but from two very different perspectives. A more traditional stoner, sludge/doom route is taken by Sadhus “The Smoking Community”, while Agnes Vein show us what sludge metal sounds like when delivered with a serving of black metal’s vile presence.
The entire thing is a little over eleven minutes in length, so make the effort and get hold of this – it’s well worth a listen.