Sloth Herder – No Pity, No Sunrise (Review)

Sloth HerderThis is the debut album from Sloth Herder, a blackened grindcore band from the US.

Sloth Herder are a murky underground monster that’s slowly been rising up through the underworld over the last few years to claim its victims. With No Pity, No Sunrise, they’re finally ready to make their big assault.

This is a complex, ambitious release that’s full of all manner of twisted sounds that you might not expect. The band’s fertile music is layered with grindcore, black metal, sludge and hardcore influences, but there’s also a clear willingness to experiment here. The album is infested with atypical ideas throughout, adding a dissonant, avant-garde side to things that’s more typical of experimental black metal/hardcore than anything as furious as grind. Sloth Herder are a band without boundaries, however, like the best of bands.

If you take elements of Pyrrhon, Blut Aus Nord, Inter Arma, Converge, Deathspell Omega, The Dillinger Escape Plan and add these to a blackened grind base, you’ll have a starting point for the mayhem that Sloth Herder get up to on No Pity, No Sunrise.

With time changes aplenty and the listener not really knowing what’s going to happen next, this is still a surprisingly coherent release. The intricate and involved playing is prevented from ever becoming too jarring by the fact that the band have the material under control, channelling the raw chaos of the music into 14 tracks of experimental nastiness.

It’s not all blistering frenzy either, as they allow some light to appear occasionally within their grim, dark music. Moments of reflection, unsettling atmosphere and dissonant pseudo-melody are all explored during the album. These aspects of their sound are usually short-lived, acting as further depth for the band’s songs before things get messy and ugly again, but it all adds to the music’s frenetic charms.

This is not music without thought. Whether the band are blasting at full speed or demonstrating their more considered side, the music is always well-written. Or, rather than being something that’s been consciously written, it actually gives the impression that they’ve grown this music organically from the ground up. Thought has gone into this, yes, but a controlling thought that seeks to chain and craft the elemental fury that the band have unearthed. No Pity, No Sunrise is the sound of a band battling against this power, channelling and fashioning it into 35 minutes or so of challenging, blackened filth, the likes of which we just eat up here at Wonderbox Metal.

No Pity, No Sunrise is an album full of complexity and intensity, bristling with aggression and daring the listener to blink.

Explore at your peril, but definitely do explore.

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