Tuesday, 17 September 2019

TRACK PREMIERE: Experience the tar thick sludge of Left to Starve's new track "Zlatni Rez"

Left to Starve was formed in Karlovac, Croatia in 2013. Releasing two EPs and a split with Eaglehaslanded, they have toured Europe extensively since their beginning. On the 6th October 2019, the band will release their debut album entitled "Nikada se nisam bojao zmija" via Rope or Guilotine, Mad Schnauzer and Slowly Growing deaf label.

The experience of listening to this album is like you're slowly drowning in mud, where every move only makes it worse and you know it's the end, but you're stuck there knowing this and there's just nothing you can do about it but to endure this feeling and wait for the bitter end. In fact after the album concludes the listener is left feeling as if nothing is ever going to be fine again.

"Nikada se nisam bojao zmija" will be released on 6th October and today at THE SLUDGELORD you can check out the track “Zlatni Rez” below.  Preorders for the album are available HERE

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

ALBUM REVIEW: Imperium Dekadenz, “When We Are Forgotten”

By: Nikos Mixas

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 30/08/2019
Label: Napalm Records

“When We Are Forgotten” CD //DD//LP track listing:

1. When We Are Forgotten
2. Bis ich bin
3. My Solace I (Choirs of Solitude)
4. Trauma
5. A Cave Called Wisdom
6. Transcendence
7. Seance
8. Absenz Elysium
9. My Solace II (Paths of Perception)
10. Reverie
11. Frozen in Time
12. Behold the Flame of Time (Bonus Track)
13. Owl of the Black Forest (Bonus Track)

The Review:

There are so many great bands in the metal-multiverse that don’t receive the recognition they deserve. The reasons are simple…they may not be part of your favorite genre of the moment, or your friends aren’t talking them up, or more than likely, popular media sources pass them over.  Personally, I believe that Imperium Dekadenz is collateral damage from all three of those reasons.  Being this is the first time I’ve listened to Imperium Dekadenz, my sample size of them is only their most recent album, “When We Are Forgotten.”  I’ll make a bold statement right now. It’s one of my favorite albums of the year…and I’ve listened to a lot of them.

Imperium Dekadenz is labeled as an atmospheric black metal band and I believe that’s a very accurate description.  Their music is very composed and has a lot of headroom for their melodies to breath and their heaviness to cut through.  The production is very crisp and is not reverb-laden compared to other “atmospheric black metal” bands.  Every instrument can be heard in the mix in addition to the vocals.  Producing a clean mix on an album like this is difficult and Imperium Dekadenz nailed it. 

There isn’t a weak song on the album but a couple tracks do stand out for me from the rest, those tracks being “Absenze-Elysium” and the title track, “When We Are Forgotten.”  I won’t put you through a play by play for each of these songs, but I just feel that both of these tracks summarize the sound of the album.  Both of them are very emotional and contain crafty tempo changes to keep your interest throughout the whole song.  Another thing to mention is that “When We Are Forgotten” consists of eleven songs plus two bonus tracks depending on what version of CD or LP you purchase.  If you prefer digital downloads (Blasphemy!  Get a physical copy you cheapo!), you’ll get the bonus tracks regardless. 

“When We Are Forgotten” is an album worthy of your collection, or at the very least a play through on your favorite streaming service.  During a year of so many outstanding releases, unfortunately there’s a good chance this album will be “forgotten” by the time those annoying Top Ten Album lists start popping up on every music blog site.  I can tell you without a doubt if I’m called upon to create a list, “When We Are Forgotten” will be on mine. 

“When We Are Forgotten” is available HERE

Band info: bandcamp || facebook

Monday, 9 September 2019

ALBUM REVIEW: Black Star Riders, "Another State of Grace"

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 06/09/2019
Label: Nuclear Blast

This is the best BSR album so far; full of great songs, with a great production and excellent performances.  This band just gets better and better.


“Another State of Grace CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Tonight The Moonlight Let Me Down
2. Another State Of Grace
3. Ain’t The End Of The World
4. Underneath The Afterglow
5. Soldier In The Ghetto
6. Why Do You Love Your Guns?
7. Standing In The Line Of Fire
8. What Will It Take?
9. In The Shadow Of The War Machine
10. Poisoned Heart

The Review:

Black Star Riders are now on album number four. Ricky Warwick and Scott Gorham remain the nucleus of the band and the Thin Lizzy feel to the tracks is still there, but has become less and less pronounced with each successive album.

Hard rock of the highest quality is still the order of the day, and this is the best BSR album so far (and that is saying something!). The opener rocks hard with hooks to spare, the title track rolls out of the speakers like a Lizzy track circa 1976 with Warwick's evocative lyrics about the troubles of America making an admirable foil for some real guitar pyrotechnics through the riffs and solos. New boys Martucci and Szeliga provide accomplished guitar and drum work respectively and have brought an energy and enthusiasm to the band, evident on “Ain't the End of the World”.

Scott Gorham's pedigree runs right the way through the album, but once again there are plenty of Warwick's trademark writing here. “Underneath the Afterglow” could be straight out of The Almighty'sJust Add Life” record from 1996! There are some musical surprises here and there too; Hammond organ can be heard, jew's harp on “Solider in the Ghetto” and acoustic gentleness on “Why Do You Love Your Guns”, which finds Warwick in contemplative mode, the Northern Ireland native seemingly adrift in his adopted US homeland.

The more straightforward hard rockers like “Standing In The Line Of Fire” are all whiskey and retribution and they deliver exactly what you want: tough as leather riffage, smooth as silk choruses and lots of memorable lines over the course of three minutes plus. “What Will It Take” does not quite work for me; a little too middle of the road, perhaps- finely crafted but a little bland, even with the extra dimension of Pearl Aday's sublime vocals. The final two tracks are balls out rock- “In The Shadow Of The War Machine” is catchy and chuggy, highlighting Warwick's gifts as a gifted and uncomplicated songwriter. “Poisoned Heart” is a little more restrained and is a strong finish to a very strong album.

There are not too many hard rock bands around these days and even fewer forging forward with new material on such a regular basis, each album improving on the last. They may even be the last of a dying breed, but Black Star Riders are amongst the very best at what they do. This is the best BSR album so far; full of great songs, with a great production and excellent performances. It builds superbly on the band's previous albums and even outdoes “Heavy Fire”- this band just gets better and better.

“Another State of Grace is available HERE

Band info: facebook

Sunday, 8 September 2019

6 NEW BANDS: THE SLUDGELORD's "666 Pack Review" (August 2019)

By: Nikos Mixas
Here’s the August edition of THE SLUDGELORD’s “666 Pack Review”.  What happened to July’s?  Fuck July, it’s in the rearview mirror now.  Yours truly was attending both Brutal Assault and Psycho Las Vegas during August so deal with it.  Most of you probably didn’t even notice anyways.  So, if you’re new to this, each month we handpick 6 review submissions and critique them by only using 6 words, then we rate them on a scale from 1 to 666!  Check out our no one cares themed rating scale below: 

1 – No one cares!  At all!!!  
2 – Only your friends will pay attention to this nonsense. 
3 – Only 5 out of 10 listeners will care…
4 – I think you’ll get some of your Bandcamp followers to care. 
5 – I actually care about this, that’s saying a lot for this column. 
666THE SLUDGELORD cares so much that you’re getting a perfect rating.  This is definitely rare and something to be proud of.   

Caveat:  Even though the “666 Pack Review” is meant to offer humorous critique, there are no safe spaces here and your gripes will only make you sound like a bellyacher.  THE SLUDGELORD is a picky listener…and doesn’t care what you think of his opinions….

1). Old Horn Tooth “From The Ghost Grey Depths” (London, U.K.)    Rating: 666!

God-doom fucking-tastic start to the month!

2). Phantom Hymn “A Story of Days to Come” (Portland, OR, U.S.A.)   Rating: 4

Not really Sludgelord-y, but good nonetheless.  

3). Stonekind “EP” (Winston Salem, NC, U.S.A.)    Rating: 4

Desert grooves matched with scorching vocals.

4). MAIRU “The Sacred Dissonance” (Liverpool, U.K.)   Rating: 5

Fine example of instrumental doom working

5). The Lightness of Being “Stay” (single track) (London, U.K.)   Rating: 5

Deftones comparisons aren’t a reach here.  

6). Sleeping Giant “Sleeping Giant” (Bendigo, Australia) Rating: 4

Australian stoners out smoke Christian version…