Mares of Diomedes/Dreich – Split (Review)

Mares of Diomedes DreichThis is a split between two sludge/doom bands – Mares of Diomedes from Ireland and Dreich from Denmark.

Mares of Diomedes start us off with two songs of bastard-heavy metal, lasting 13 minutes.

This is fuzzed-up and harsh, with colossal riffs drenched in distortion being unleashed like they are going out of fashion. With Continue reading

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Algoma – Reclaimed by the Forest (Review)

AlgomaAlgoma are a Sludge/Doom band from Canada and this is their début album.

Algoma play the kind of filthy, grim Sludge akin to the likes of Eyehategod, Fistula, Buzzov.en, etc.

The riffs are heavy and large and have the relentless inevitability of a slow-moving avalanche. Reclaimed by the Forest seems to be powered by these monstrous guitars, as if they have an energy all to themselves; self-generating and powerful enough to make everything else follow suite.

Vocally the singer has a voice that’s somewhere between a shout and a bark.

The band’s sound is murky and dense, as one would expect from a Sludge Metal group, but there’s a healthy amount of Doom to their style meaning they go slower than some similar bands.

At almost 42 minutes in length it doesn’t outstay its welcome and the infectious nature of the Sludgy guitars mean that it’s a good album to zone out to and become encased in the heaviness.

Each song is a smorgasbord of heaviness, crunchy guitars and bile.

It’s time to let the forest take you.

Fistula – Vermin Prolificus (Review)

FistulaFistula are from the US and play Sludge Metal. This is their sixth album.

Oh Mother Sludge! You have such sights to show us don’t you? Fistula are firm adherents to the cause and push Mother Sludge’s agenda as if their lives depended on it. And maybe they do, as Mother Sludge is fickle with her favours.

Fistula are a very prolific, (heh), band and it’s always a pleasure to hear Sludge played with passion and feeling like we have here. Sludge is such a rich sub-genre of Metal that it’s easy to make it your own but it’s also easy to fall by the wayside into sloppy Eyehategod worship.

Of course, all Sludge bands by the very nature of the style have some Eyehategod in their sound; as this is the basic template of Sludge what matters is what the band does with it. Do they follow the template strictly or do they make it their own?

Fistula have embraced their fuzz-soaked, feedback-drenched Southern roots but like all great purveyors of the style they have mutated and warped it to their own vicious desires. As such, Vermin Prolificus is an album that bears the weight of history on its hulking shoulders without even noticing it’s even there and the resulting noise-fest is a grim testimony to the love of all things filthy, dirty and downright heavy.

On Vermin Prolificus the band leave no fungus-covered stone unturned in their quest to uncover all of Mother Sludge’s mysteries. Slow, fast, heavy, ever-so-slightly-less-heavy…the band play it all with relish and pull all of it off very well indeed.

The songs have the instant appeal of a rotten landscape and the hidden depths of a foetid swamp. This is music to get buried in.

I love this kind of album especially when delivered by the desperate hands of true believers like Fistula. If you have even a passing interest in the Sludge style then this is a must.

Get down, get dirty and get Fistula.