Review Summary: A wonderfully crafted and well-structured metal album.
There’s no doubt about it, Spaceslug is a silly band name. As the years edge forward and more bands enter the playing field, it is becoming harder for groups to find a name that sounds uniquely cool and still represents the music. Don’t be under any illusions though, it might sound like a straight-to-VHS horror B-movie title but these guys mean serious business. And in a lot of ways, Spaceslug’s name delineates its intentions with valour: Eye The Tide
consists of the bulking agility a slug would have, pitted in the sprawling reaches of space. It’s been awhile since I’ve listened to an album clocking in at around the 1-hour mark and having it feel justified. This band knows how to set the tone to their songs, taking you on a little journey with each track. It’s a richly detailed soundscape of vividly epic guitar passages, brush strokes of colourfully elaborate synths and a partnership of intricate drum work and bellowing, teeth-chattering basslines that use a number of different styles to attain their goals. The post-rock voyage of “Words Like Stones” and its impressive skill at launching waves of energised swells that build up to a cusp of rupturing before simmering back down, only to build back up twice as hard and more intense than before is easily one of the most potent and stellar moments here – albeit residing in a line of many great picks.
“Obsolith” is another enticing chapter to Eye The Tide
, and a great opening song. Welcoming you into the fray with its grimy, sun-baked bassline and Godzilla bounding drums, the song shifts in a leisurely fashion to a hastened tempo of more abled drum work, pained guitar melodies and a lathering of haunted vocals that emits a sound combination of Mastodon’s Crack the Skye
and Kyuss’ adulated stoner ethos. It’s almost a disservice with words to be frank, every track is jam-packed with layers and things to uncover through a multitude of listens. They’ve taken the space exploration concept quite literally here, and it actually feels like you’re rewarded for discovering new sounds every time you go back to it. Moving away from just how densely populated and engaging this sonic adventure is, the backbone of the album’s flow and its songwriting is an impressive quality as well. “Vialys” Part I and II are masterclasses in tonal contrasts. The first part is a bright, spacey alt-rock epic sashaying with groove and gentle vocal melodies; Part II is a calling to contemporary Swan’s songwriting: droning and ominous vocals with a gloomy sound palate that wastes little time in throwing a planet’s worth of aggression at its listener.
This is a fantastic record. I found myself yearning to come back to it just to see what I’d missed on previous listens. Their skill set is admirable, listening to them amalgamate post-rock, doom and stoner-rock is second to none and completely engrossing from start to finish. The LP is filled with twists and turns that are hard to come by these days. That moment when “I, The Tide” goes from broad and beautiful soundscape passages to booming, claustrophobic and sludgy riffs is simply euphoric. Eye The Tide
is a great achievement, showing an effortless amount of finesse with compositions that’re filled with beauty, dread and alien discovery. Not once did this album drag its knuckles, every twist and turn felt warranted and it kept me exactly where it wanted me to be: in its world. If you’re looking for an album with a meticulously setup journey, prepare to buckle up.
SPECIAL EDITION: N/A
ALBUM STREAM//PURCHASE: https://spaceslug.bandcamp.com/