Review Summary: Arguably the heaviest album of 2010.
Hailing from Seattle, Washington and Chico, California, sludge/doom metal band The Abominable Iron Sloth have released their long awaited sophomore album, The ID Will Overcome. In fact, it is an album that should not have happened due to the circumstances of the band members. When they released their self-titled album in 06, some members moved to the state of California but what would have certainly killed a vast majority of most bands did not stop The Abominable Iron Sloth, although it did hinder the writing process of this album for nearly four years. Maybe it is just a testament of the bands name, for they surely took their time in perfecting this album and it is felt throughout every song and every riff.
The approach that The Abominable Iron Sloth take to their music is both slow and purposeful; even their drummer is forced to play slowly due to a heart condition, which also prevents him from playing live. Right from the get-go on the opening track ‘I Destroy’ the sludge and doom influences that The Sloth takes can be drastically felt; imagine a mix of Gaza with the doom of Aldebaran. The equivalent to getting hit by a freight train, The ID Will Overcome chugs along with nearly no respite until the track ‘Heterodox Nonconformist’. Interestingly enough, unlike most sludge/doom based bands which try to go for song length and epic buildups and climaxes, The Sloth take an odd turn by using almost grind like song lengths; with nearly all of their tracks averaging to two minutes in length. This helps the listener from growing with any of the tracks and helps them navigate more easily through the album.
If there is a bone to pick with this could possibly be the vocalist to The Abominable Iron Sloth. His wailing screeches carry influence from Trenches vocalist Jimmy Ryan and even are reminiscent to Pig Destroyer vocalist J.R. Hayes. It will definitely make or break this album for the listener as his voice does little in the part of variation, constantly felt throughout the album; if you don’t like his style from the beginning then you’re most likely not going to like the album itself. Another problem that could be found on this album is the tedious track that is ‘Heterodox Nonconformist’. The ID Will Overcome clocks in at nearly forty-one minutes: nearly a quarter of which is found on that track. It is not that ‘Heterodox Nonconformist’ is necessarily a bad track, it is just that at about the eight minute marker most listeners will be looking at their watches wondering if it is almost over. Unfortunately for the listener, there is still another five minutes left on it.
But while ‘Heterodox Nonconformist’ overstays its welcome, this album still has enough replay value to make it one the heaviest, dirtiest albums of 2010. The ultralow guitar tone, the crushing kicks, and the banshee-esque screams of The Sloth will make any listener craving for a hot shower by the time this album has finished. With a name like The Abominable Iron Sloth there’s little room for imagination when it comes to the style of music they play. In the genre of sludge and doom, you either love it or hate it and by the end of this album the listener most certainly love it.