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.

Nightslug – Loathe (Review)

NightslugNightslug are a German Sludge band and this is their second album.

Nightslug sound as their name suggests – ponderous and heavy. This is discordant, ugly Sludge that grips you by their hair and forces your face into the vomit. This, of course, is something you like. So eat it all up. Eat it now.

The songs have a good groovy swagger and the guitars steal the show with their cocky bravado and murky heaviness. The vocals shouldn’t be discounted, however, as they sound like the aural equivalent of an acid splash to the face.

The bass makes its presence felt like a steel girder that props everything up and works with the guitars to create a solid and crushing foundation for the songs to destroy everything around them.

Feedback, distortion and an overall dirty, grim aesthetic is par for the course with Sludge but Nightslug do it with style. They have a slightly unusual sound in their guitar tone and the way the vocals are mixed. It works exceedingly well though, and gives them a distinctive flavour. It reminds me of, (although sounds different from), the production of Rabies Caste’s début album Let the Soul Out and Cut the Vein, which also had an atypical sound. Like Rabies Caste though, they have taken the Sludge template as handed down by Eyehategod and made it firmly their own.

Also like Rabies Caste, Nightslug specialise in songs that are incredibly catchy and memorable. Certainly not in a radio-friendly way, of course, but these are riffs and tunes that stick in the head like an infected nail. It’s painful, but a twisted stroke of master workmen and the Sludge Gods should be proud of them.

I love a good Sludge band and Loathe will be firmly a part of my playlists for some time to come.

This is one you must check out.

Favourite Track: Vile Pigs. With a main riff that just won’t quit, this song is as catchy as Hell.