Slough Feg
Down Among the Dead Men


5.0
classic

Review

by Gigglesdemon USER (31 Reviews)
February 5th, 2011 | 14 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If you say heavy metal has died in the recent years, you clearly haven’t heard Slough Feg.

If you are a metal elitist, you probably have thought that this last decade is one of the darkest times in metal history. With the rise of Nü-Metal and Metalcore, heavy metal has been awash with poor copycats and others attempting to be the most “extreme” band out there. But have no fear metal elitists! For the Lord Weird Slough Feg are here to comfort you. Formed in 1990, their goal was always to bring about a heavy metal resurgence in America. Combining Celtic and folk influences with classic heavy metal, they do have a unique sound. Slough Feg on this album is:

Mike Scalzi- Vocals, guitars
John Cobbet- Guitar
John Torres- Bass
Greg Haa- Drums

If I had to sum Slough Feg up in one word, and if you walk away from this review with no other word describing them, the word would have to be: Fun. Slough Feg manages to infuse their music with the party feel of rock n’ roll without sacrificing any of heavy metal’s power and aggression. Just look at some of the song titles, like “Heavy Metal Monk.” And if that isn’t enough to convince you, look at these lyrics from the song “Death Machine,” “My name is Ankar Moor, I keep the ranges clean/ Racing through burnt-out shells, I must keep the pace/ Iron wheels like thunder in this Heavy Metal Race!” Or even from the song "Warrior's Dawn," "We are the red men/ Feathers-in-our-head men/ Down Among the Deadmen/ OM POW WOW!!!" Now you’re probably thinking, “Oh no, not another ridiculously cheesy power metal band!” While that looks, and frankly sounds, rather ridiculous, don’t be turned off by it. In fact, the delivery of these over the top and ridiculous lines is fantastic. Mike Scalzi has a fantastic voice, very rich and deep. While he does have a large range, he rarely reaches the high notes of Bruce Dickinson or Rob Halford. In fact, he’s best at the low-to-middle range of vocals, which he stays at. And quite frankly, it sounds better with the music this way. If he was wailing away like Bruce or Rob, it would sound a little off. So I commend him for sticking at the range he’s good at.

While Mike is an amazing vocalist, he also handles guitar duties, sharing them with John Cobbet. Their dual guitar work is astounding, with some great melodies, fantastic riffs, and face-melting-shredding-the-fret-board solos. In fact, the song “Warrior’s Dawn” lets the show off their talents to the fullest. The first four minutes are astounding, and an amazing track in its own right, but it turns out these first four minutes are only an intro into the madness to come. The last two or so minutes lets the whole band go absolutely nuts, going all out. The guitar melodies are fantastic, Mike is belting out the vocals, and John Torres and Greg Haa are doing an amazing job as a rhythm section. These two minutes completely blow the first four out of the water, which were amazing in the first place. Throughout the album, the guitars work wonders, producing great riffs and gallop away whenever the time calls for it.

Even though the vocals and guitars take center stage, you should not underestimate the ability of Greg Haa and John Torres. They consistently produce an astounding rhythm, and should not be underestimated. Might I add, the bass is audible. Yes. Constantly. The bass produces a solid undertone, and is always great. If you know me, you probably have noticed I’m a sucker for great, audible bass. During the songs, “Warrior’s Dawn” and “Fergus Mac Roich” you can hear it extraordinarily well, and it’s great. Greg also has some great drum parts, driving the song with the force of a man on a mission. His drumming is always fast-paced and exciting, filled with rolls and great double bass.

And don’t think that this is all the same old heavy metal. Slough Feg slows it down a bit on the track “Psionic Illuminations,” showing some much needed diversity and it’s a solid, atmospheric track. The Celtic and folk influence is also heard, making them an oddity in the classic heavy metal world, and helps them stand out from the crowd.

Overall, this is a modern metal classic, a last bastion of classic heavy metal. Full of everything a growing metal fan needs: Great riffs, soaring vocals, pounding drums, and solid bass lines. Any self-respecting metal fan needs to pick this up, and even if you are slightly interested in metal (or even hard rock) or have a friend who is slightly interested in learning about the mystical ways of metal, check this album out.

Pros:
-Great vocals
-Cool dual guitar melodies
-Audible, solid bass
-Pounding drums

Cons:
-Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……… ………………………..the lyrics might turn some people off, that’s about it

Recommended Tracks:
Warrior’s Dawn
Traders and Gunboats
Fergus Mac Roich
High Season



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user ratings (47)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Gigglesdemon
February 5th 2011


187 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I probably sound a little fanboyish in this review, but this is a fantastic metal album, and deserves to be in every metal fans collection. As always, CC welcome!

HenchmanOfSanta
February 5th 2011


1865 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Metal elitists are the ones who care enough to look beyond Headbanger's Ball and realize that the last decade owned. Also this decade just started so you should probably change the wording.

HenchmanOfSanta
February 5th 2011


1865 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Also no review of this album is complete without using

"We are the red men
Feathers-in-our-head men
Down among the dead men
UMPH-POW-WOW"


DoubtGin
February 5th 2011


6752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

band is terribly overlooked

Gigglesdemon
February 5th 2011


187 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Well, hmmm. This is interesting. All the metal elitist I know were like, "SLDKFJL:SDJFLSDJFL:SJ! FUCKING NU-METAL AND METALCORE!!!! THERE'S NO GOOD METAL ANYMORE!!!!! SDSDJFL:SDJF!" So I stand corrected.

Gigglesdemon
February 5th 2011


187 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Also fixed the thing about this decade. I accidently left out last. Thanks for the catch!

SteelErectedb4you8er
February 5th 2011


2616 Comments


Yeah, I basically never gave these guys a chance for 10 years, I don't know...but I did. But then I just decided to give them another chance and man...did they get me. Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden rolled up in one spliff. I am now a fan.

Bleekill
February 5th 2011


832 Comments


Cool finally a review. Yeah very underrated.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2011


6092 Comments


i haven't got anything from this band. Guess i should change that.

@ sonictheplumber.

Man i see where you are coming from, but honestly i have had enough with the well-established rock/metal dinosaurs.

It's time to get some old and/or contemporary material out of its obscurity and we are late, i may add.

The first paragraph is win, i totally agree, especially about metalcore, which is severerly overrated, leave aside 3-4 bands.

well written, pos'd, you can do much better.

Digging: The Sabbathian - Ritual Rites

DBlitz
February 7th 2011


1690 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

rules

DikkoZinner
May 20th 2014


3074 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Band slays

Digging: Skinless - Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead

emester
June 23rd 2014


3269 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Band is so criminally underrated. Truly one of the greats

Digging: Aphex Twin - Syro

Inveigh
July 10th 2014


24963 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

god this record rules something nasty

Warriors Dawn and Death Machine m/

DikkoZinner
July 25th 2014


3074 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

COMING IN SWARMS, OUT OF THE SKY



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