False Gods – Neurotopia (Review)

False Gods - NeurotopiaFalse Gods are a doom/sludge metal band from the US and this is their second album.

Neurotopia contains eight tracks, (seven originals and a doomified Integrity cover), for a total of 50 minutes of material. False Gods play a compelling brand of doom and sludge metal that also benefits from elements of hardcore.

The songs are both emotive and heavy. The music crushes with thick cutting distortion as it caresses with melodic intensity and mood-filled riffs. False Gods combine melancholic feeling with raging anger and they do both very well. Tasteful synths are artfully deployed at select moments to deepen the atmosphere.

The doom parts manifest in the slower sections, with Black Sabbath-esque riffs and gloomy moods. The sludge metal influences coat everything in grime and unpleasant tones, (and put me in mind of bands like Crowbar combined with Eyehategod, Neurosis, and Corrosion of Conformity, but without sounding derivative). Finally, we have the hardcore side of the band’s sound, which is harsh and unforgiving, and complements the sludge and doom very nicely.

When playing slow False Gods are expressive and dark, building sombre auras of misery and woe. At other times the music can be riff-focused and as the band lay down their substantial grooves they are absolutely punishing. Sometimes they just throw caution to the wind and unleash furious hardcore speed as fast as they can and tear through the material with passion. This is all a simplistic description, of course, as the three main aspects of False Gods’ sound all work together in concert to produce a collection of heavy tracks that are greater than the sum of their parts.

In addition to the music itself, we have the vocals, which crown the music and truly bring it to life. I’m not 100% sure if all of the vocals are provided by the band’s singer, or if anyone else provides backing vocals, (I think this might be the case), but either way, they’re very good. Mixing shouted barks, rough semi-cleans, and caustic screams, the vocals range from the belligerent to the heartfelt, and I like them very much.

Neurotopia is an above average sludge metal release, that’s for sure. The well-written songs make a strong first impression, one that’s only cemented over time. If you have a taste for this sort of emotive heaviness then look no further than what False Gods have produced.

Very highly recommended.

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