Burke and Hare – Burke and Hare (Review)

Burke and HareBurke and Hare are a UK sludge metal band and this is their debut EP.

Here we have just over 12 minutes of ugly heaviness, just the we like it for this kind of sludge-driven hideousness. Continue reading

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Prisoner 639/Throw Me in the Crater – Split (Review)

Prisoner 639 throw Me in the CraterPrisoner 639 are from Belgium and play grinding powerviolence. They have teamed up for this split with Dutch sludge band Throw Me in the Crater.

Prisoner 639 get things going in a slow-burning fashion, opening up with lots of noise, distortion and feedback. Before long some drums and bass enter the fray, producing grim sludgy sounds. After a couple of minutes of this the Continue reading

Jagged Mouth – Louring (Review)

Jagged MouthThis is the debut album from Jagged Mouth, a sludge/doom metal band from the US.

With the kind of scathingly high-pitched vocals that can strip skin at 100 paces, Jagged Mouth don’t mess around. This is slow and heavy sludge/doom that doesn’t care for being nice or pleasant in any way. Continue reading

Warped Cross – Abbot of Unreason (Review)

Warped CrossWarped Cross are a sludge metal band from Germany and this is their début album.

This is underground filthy sludge metal that takes inspiration from bands like Eyehategod, Crowbar, Down, Corrosion of Conformity, Cathedral and Electric Wizard. There’s a hint of, (dirtied-up), grunge in their sound, (not too dissimilar from the recent Boss Keloid album), as well as some pinches of old-school punk. There’s even a touch of Type O Negative in places.

This is raw and utterly unpolished, but Continue reading

Sourvein – Aquatic Occult (Review)

SourveinThis is the fourth album from these US Sludge/Doom veterans.

Sourvein return with an aquatic-themed album, it seems.

The band play their sludge with a raw energy that seems to tap into something primeval and old, probably something lurking in the deepest waters in the darkest ocean.

With a heavy sound that’s warmly analogue, these songs have a kind of retro vibe to them that manages to eschew any of the normal bullshit trappings that such a term usually involves. Rather, what we have here is music that’s honest, visceral and not afraid to get dirty, (wet?).

The songs have groove and melody, both of which are used well throughout the playing time. It’s an endearing mix of influences that combine on this release, with everything from Electric Wizard, Eyehategod, Black Sabbath, Acid Bath and Mastodon making it into the melting pot.

Short tracks don’t outstay their welcome, and Sourvein know how to flourish a song with a relatively short playing time for maximum effect.

There are some quality and earthy, (aquatic?), guitar solos included, alongside a bass that just sounds really, really good.

The singer reveals himself to be quite versatile, with clean and rough singing, as well as throaty shouts used where necessary. He has a lot of presence and charisma, which can also be said of the songs as a whole. Taken together the music and the vocal performance make for a very strong collection of tracks that are both catchy and memorable.

Well, this is very, very enjoyable. Sourvein stick out from the crowd as having something a bit special and being a bit different from the norm.

You gotta get this, or Poseidon will be pissed.

Seven Sisters of Sleep – Ezekiel’s Hags (Review)

Seven Sisters of SleepThis is the third album from the USA’s Seven Sisters of Sleep. They play Sludge Metal.

On this album Seven Sisters of Sleep combine a lot of influences from a wide array of nasty, extreme sub-genres into their potent brew of Sludge Metal. Doom, Hardcore, Death Metal, Black Metal, Grindcore…it pretty much all gets a look in at some point in these 50 minutes.

This is nasty music that seems to revel in the filth and dirt, with no stone of depravity left unturned or unsoiled.

This is a wild and dangerous ride through all things heavy, taking pit stops in the aforementioned styles and mashing them together with all of the subtlety of a maniac with a very big hammer. Having said that though, there’s a fierce guiding intelligence at play behind the scenes here, and the band obviously know what they’re doing with the material they have bloodily birthed.

There are a lot of giant riffs on this release and whether the band are playing fast, slow or anywhere in between, they steer this ship of gloom with unerring accuracy through the fog of Sludge. Or something. I think my metaphors got a bit out of control there. Regardless, think of Ezekiel’s Hags as the nastiest form of Doom, shot through with streaks of blast beats and a predilection for terror.

The vocals are every bit as nasty as the music, even more so as they have a real splenetic fury to them.

This is an exceptional release full of horrorful energy and a testament to what you can do with the variety and interest that can be had with Sludge Metal.

I can easily imagine fans of Ilsa, Serpent Eater, Secret Cutter, Colombian Necktie, Cult of Occult, Behold! The Monolith, Nightslug and Eyehategod taking a real shine to this. I know I have.