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.

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Interview with Secret Cutter

Secret Cutter Logo

This year Secret Cutter unleashed their début album Self Titled on an unsuspecting world. This was an avalanche of heaviness and naked hostility tempered down into a short shock of an album that was immediate enough to get the adrenaline flowing and featured enough depth to carry it for the long haul. If you haven’t already heard it I recommend tracking it down. Now.

I wanted to find out more so dived head first onto the cutting floor…

sc5For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself!

Jared: We’re Secret Cutter, a 3-piece Sludge/Grind/Doom band from Bethlehem PA and we play heavy music!

Evan: We don’t have a bass player.

Give us a bit of history to Secret Cutter

Jared: Ekim and I’s old band (Oktober Skyline) broke up and we were in between bands and heard Evan, who put out the OS record, wanted to play something heavy, so we decided to try it out and a few months jamming we recorded our 7 inch in Ekim’s basement.

Tell us about the band name

Evan: It’s about the trap of self hatred. None of us cut ourselves on purpose.

What are your influences?

Jared: Impermanence, edibles, the human experience, love, hate, anything can be an influence if you let it.

sc4What are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?

Jared: Nothing heavy really, Emil Amos from the Holy Suns is destroying me lately.

Evan: The “Off Your Parents ” Ep by The Yah Mos. It came out in 1994 one of the best 7 inch’s of the 90’s in my opinion.

Ekim: On the heavy side of things, Lord Mantis.

How did you decide upon the sound that your band has? Was this a conscious decision to aim for this or was it a more organic, natural process of just finding out what fit and felt right?

Jared : Definitely wanted to do something heavy. I think in time as we grow we’re constantly trying to bend our definition of ‘heavy’. But not on purpose…it just happens with time, and that moment when we’re chuckling with the hairs standing on our necks, we know it’s right.

sc3Where/how do you think you fit in with the wider Metal scene as a whole?

Jared: I’m not sure where we fit in really. I’d hope it would be enjoyed by any fans of heavy music but I feel like we don’t appeal to just one genre.

Do you have any specific goals you want to achieve with this album?

Jared : Just to get it out to as many ears as possible.

Are you happy with how it turned out?

Jared : Very happy at this point. The response has been overwhelmingly positive.

Evan: The response has really been great. One review basically said we make music for the end of the world. I really enjoyed that..

What can you tell us about the lyrics?

Ekim: The struggles of everyday life for everyone. Each song is it’s own meaning for me, but could be relate-able through other people’s interpretations. No love making lyrics here.

sc2How do you write your songs?

Jared : Evan brings the riffs to the table like a manic scientist and I basically learn the song and try to syncopate the rhythm. Then over time the songs just grow. It takes a really long time for some songs to be fully incubated.

How do you see your songs/direction developing in the future?

Jared : If any more bleak than what we’ve been writing…I’ll want to swallow a bottle of Zoloft. And I’m OK with that.

What’s next for Secret Cutter?

Jared : All unknown! Except our next LP which is basically written. I’m very excited about playing out with this new material.

Secret Cutter – Self-Titled (Review)

Secret CutterSecret Cutter are from the US and this is their début album. They play Sludge Metal with an added side of Hardcore/Punk.

The Secret Cutter sound is one of pure unbridled filth, fury and fucking heaviness. This is aggressive and nasty in only the way that Sludge and really pissed off Hardcore can be, and when combined like this it just sounds gloriously horrible!

Think of bands like Eyehategod, Serpent Eater, Ilsa, Corrupt Moral Altar, Wolvhammer, Enabler and the like; distil what makes these bands so interesting, nasty and individual and you’ll have a good idea of the murky swamp of urban decay that Secret Cutter dwell in.

I love albums like this – no messing around, just undiluted heaviness and aggression, whether that’s done at speed or slowly. It’s rough, raw and genuine.

The Sludge is strong and works well with the added Hardcore/Punk influence that the band have.

The songs have a good degree of variety in them for a short album, (only 26 minutes), and within the style they play. Each song is readily identifiable also, (no mean feat for any band), and show a creative force at the top of their game.

They have some great riffs on this release and the songs are surprisingly catchy for this type of band. Although catchy probably isn’t the right term. Infectious, maybe?

Special mention should go to the singer, who absolutely rages and tears his way through the songs as if it’s the last thing he’s ever going to do. His high pitched screams are the very incarnation of savagery.

This really is a top quality release that has so many plus points it’s silly. In many ways this is the best of heavy, nasty music, and this is one I’ll be listening to over and over again.

Play it loud and get it now.