Slugdge
Born of Slime


4.5
superb

Review

by Arche USER (95 Reviews)
August 31st, 2014 | 69 replies


Release Date: 2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Getting off on the only foot they had. Thankfully, it was a good one.

I can only imagine the conversation between Kev Pearson and Matt Moss when they decided to write an album based on the war between gastropods and humans. I like to think it took place in a garden shed on a rainy day in Lancashire, the two of them drinking beer that had been brewed slightly too strongly, watching slugs destroy a formerly majestic cabbage. Kev reaches for the slug-killer, when Matt turns to him, puts a hand out, and says 'Stop! Some day the slugs will become vengeful, and team up with their minibeast counterparts to bring down civilization!' And Kev, slightly taken aback by the sudden change of potential events, looks up dramatically and decides they need to document this before it happens. And so, Slugdge was born.

I doubt the above is how it truly happened, but the finished product is something to be seriously impressed with. Disregarding the duo's lyrical content for a moment, the main thing that stands out here are the riffs, which most of the time are varied and interesting in their own right. Instead of playing breakneck solos or 100mph death metal riffs, they opt for a slower, more open sounding mixture of drop tuned power chords and arpeggios while keeping everything interesting by slight riff modifications and changing time signatures throughout. When they do speed it up, such as on 'Pod Hates Us All' (I'll get to the song titles in just a moment), the riffs could have come from a mid-80's thrash group, deciding to play in a cavern for the evening instead of a sweaty hall. In fact, the whole album seems to have this cavernous sound to it, amplifying the subterranean effect they were going for. The drums are fantastic, both in how they sound and how they are played, and definitely help to drive it on during the slower sections. The bass is generally hidden but is audible through headphones, and seems to do the job bass guitars generally do of 'grounding' the chord progressions. Not flashy, but effective.

However, let's get to the main idiosyncrasy with this duo, and that's the rather unusual lyrics. From the awakening of the slug-lord himself in Born of Slime, to the salt-based mass-murder in Eyehatesalt (the title as all of them being a pun on band names, and worth a chuckle on their own), and culminating in the unstoppable invasion and appearance of Pod in Day of Sludgement, there is amazingly even a storyline being set out here. This storyline is performed using a mixture of sludge-y highs, death metal-esque lows and cleans that sound like they could be off of a Reverend Bizarre record, all performed with seeming ease and varied just enough that they maintain their effect throughout. Top this off with some very menacing sounding low-end chanting used through the album (most notably War Prayer of Slish), and the result is fantastic.

There is, sadly, one thing that lets the album down a bit over its length, and that's the mastering. It's painfully noticeable at certain locations of the album (1:00 of All Shell Perish is one that sticks out) that there was some difficulty trying to ensure all of the instruments were audible, although I appreciate this album was not made in a high-end studio. Despite this, Slugdge have created an almost flawless album of colossal riffs, fantastic vocals, (to the point where it could be argued they already have a distinctive sound - something which many bands spend their entire careers trying to find) and even provided a chuckle or two along the way.

And it's free at http://slugdge.bandcamp.com/album/born-of-slime, so you have no excuse to at least not listen to it. It's worth it.



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user ratings (171)
3.9
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
ScuroFantasma
Emeritus
August 31st 2014


12058 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

Great review dude. I still need to check this once I'm done with Gastranomicon.

Archelirion
August 31st 2014


6594 Comments


Thanks! It's fantastic, I think Gastronomicon is slightly better due to the production but both are some of my favourite albums of the past couple of years.

ScuroFantasma
Emeritus
August 31st 2014


12058 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

Cool, I was wondering how it stacked up.

Archelirion
January 8th 2016


6594 Comments


Forgot how much I love the tone on this album. And those riffs...


ScuroFantasma
Emeritus
January 8th 2016


12058 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

You'd think that over a year later and with Dim in my top 3 I'd have jammed this by now....

Archelirion
January 8th 2016


6594 Comments


Hahaha, we all do it :L I'd definitely get round to listening to this one though, it's their filthiest output and I think actually my favourite.

ScuroFantasma
Emeritus
May 11th 2016


12058 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

God this rules, love this band

ScuroFantasma
Emeritus
May 11th 2016


12058 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

"Getting off on the only foot they had."



Gotta congratulate you on this btw, must've dismissed it the first time but now - I recognise the genius.

Archelirion
May 11th 2016


6594 Comments


Phahaha, thanks very much ;] This is still my favourite of theirs - those riffs are just so damn grimy. All Shell Perish is pure bliss.

Archelirion
June 12th 2017


6594 Comments


The production is basically my favourite part of this nowadays. How times change, hey?

ScuroFantasma
Emeritus
June 12th 2017


12058 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

oh hey, our private discussion

Archelirion
June 12th 2017


6594 Comments


Heh, is somewhat. I'm surprised this album gets so little discussion, even when they release a new one

ScuroFantasma
Emeritus
June 12th 2017


12058 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

As am I. We're approaching 3 years of this review being up and only the two of us here haha. Weird considering how popular their later two have been.

Archelirion
August 2nd 2017


6594 Comments


BEYOOOOOOOOND BATRACHIAN BULWAAARKS

verdant
Emeritus
August 2nd 2017


2492 Comments


hey nice review aaron i probably would find this mildly interesting but will check for confirmation

Archelirion
August 2nd 2017


6594 Comments


I like reading this one cos it reminds me how much I've improved over 3 years :L
Shit slaps, hope you find it mildly interesting

verdant
Emeritus
August 2nd 2017


2492 Comments


ok ok ok these riffs are m/ as all hell thanks for this

clavier
Emeritus
August 2nd 2017


1171 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Holy shit this sounds unique...

Great review Aaron

ScuroFantasma
Emeritus
August 2nd 2017


12058 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

See you guys in 2018

Demon of the Fall
August 3rd 2017


34314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hey, just checking in with my fellow gastropod appreciation society members. I have little business here considering my lack of exposure to this sort of thing & this band's relative obscurity but by coincidence I have their stuff & dig it quite a lot.



If anyone (working backwards) can point me in the direction of similar things I'd be most grateful, namely the combination of sludge & death (not slug-themed stuff, I doubt that would result in anything tangible). Most sludge is black/doom or hardcore influenced at a glance, although that's assuming the tags are accurate.



Pleased to have discovered these guys.





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