This is the second album from this UK Doom/Sludge band.
This is an album full of sprawling epics, lasting 61 minutes in length, largely spread across 4 songs. There are five tracks in total though, with the fifth, (actually track 2 – Evacuate!), being the odd one out as, at under 5 minutes, it’s nasty, frenzied and comparatively short.
Slabdragger are heavy. They have the kind of thick, syrupy rhythm guitar that feels like it could swamp entire cities with its distortion. This immediately makes these tracks a very satisfying proposition, regardless of any other considerations.
Huge Stoner riffs power things, while the pounding drums set the backdrop. These tracks provide an ample exemplar of fuzzed-up filth and Slabdragger use all of the various tools at their disposal to spread their dirt far and wide.
During the playing time the band cover a lot of bases and visit several different grime-covered planets in the Sludge spaceways that they navigate. Yeah, yeah; as Sci-Fi metaphors go, it’s not the best, but it’s a nod to the theme of the album so just run with it… Suffice to say that this is an album that doesn’t get boring and even though it’s long there is a lot of content here to enjoy. Whether you prefer upbeat rage, downbeat misery, reflective calm, monolithic Doom or mid-paced crushers – Slabdragger have it covered.
Drawn-out cleans, insectile screams and dark shouted growls provide more than enough vocal variety and are all buried in the tide of crushing guitar riffs that the band peel off with ease.
Shot through with groovy melodies and ugly intent, these tracks are full of treasures and delights for those brave enough to pick through the musical ruins that the band inhabit; ruins that were probably once a thriving world, crushed and destroyed by the band’s incredible heaviness, I would imagine.
Most of my favourite parts on this release are provided by the guitars, this could be a chunky, grooved-up riff or when the band settle into a hypnotic repetition that you think you can just lose yourself in.
The Doom/Stoner/Sludge concoctions that they have come up with on Rise of the Dawncrusher are so very, very satiating that at the end of this veritable feast of filth you feel full and satisfied. Slabdragger have delivered the goods, make no mistake.
This is an extremely ambitious and impressive album, one that you need to have in your collection.
A must listen.