Friday, 19 February 2016

Slabdragger - "Rise Of The Dawncrusher" (Album Review)

By: Chris Bull

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 26/02/2016
Label: Holy Roar Records


Taking us on a galactic mission, Slabdragger open up with 'Mercenary Blues' with its crushing stoner groove causing many an involuntary head nod (as well as plenty of voluntary ones).  The riffs are typical of the Slabdragger style we've come to know and love, pentatonic flourishes and doomtastic hammer blows holding everything together, with utterly pummeling riffs smacking you around the head.  This is the sound of a band attempting to reclaim their throne atop the UK underground doom/sludge scene, judging by the 5 tracks here, they've certainly succeeded. Long live the kings.



“Rise of the Dawncrusher” CD//DD//2xLP track listing:

1). Mercenary Blues
2). Evacuate!
3). Shrine of Debauchery
4). Dawncrusher Rising
5). Implosion Rites


The Review:

They say good things come to those who wait...and we have waited patiently for nearly 5 years for a new Slabdragger full length but once you wrap your ears around 'Rise of the Dawncrusher', the wait will most definitely have been worth it.

Taking us on a galactic mission, Slabdragger open up with 'Mercenary Blues' with its crushing stoner groove causing many an involuntary head nod (as well as plenty of voluntary ones). Vocals range from bluesy sing song, to raspy black metal and guttural barks, sometimes combining both the latter styles. The riffs are typical of the Slabdragger style we've come to know and love, the pentatonic flourishes and doomtastic hammer blows holding everything together.

If you heard 'Evacuate' or indeed read my review of it back in November, you'll know how much I enjoyed it. Pacier and more aggressive than the other tracks, this packs a mighty punch. 'Shrine of Debauchery' starts with some bass drones and a cool picked guitar part before building with feedback and tribal drumming. Then the utterly pummeling riff smacks you around the head. This is probably the song that sounds closest to 'Regress' than any of the other songs but it doesn't feel as though they're retreading the same path and the monk like vocal section towards the tail end of the song is simply stunning. '

“Dawncrusher Rising' follows with 15 plus minutes of epic bluesy doom crush. This song has it all really, punishing doom, bouncy sludge grooves, crazy spacey bleeps, mountainous chugs, everything that's good in modern heavy music. If you thought that was epic, final track 'Implosion Rites' takes things a little further. More grooves, similar to Goatsnake's 'The River', more chugs and some superb sing-along sections make for an undeniably excellent way to wrap things up. Amazing.

This is the sound of a band attempting to reclaim their throne atop the UK underground doom/sludge scene, judging by the 5 tracks here, they've certainly succeeded. Long live the kings.


Rise of the Dawncrusher” is available here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook

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