Monday, 20 June 2016

Tides of Sulfur - "Extinction Curse" (Album Review)

By: Charlie Butler

 
Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 15/07/2016
Label: Black Bow Records

 
 
This is an astonishingly confident and assured record for a debut LP, helped by excellent production by Chris Fielding. He has managed to capture the filth of the band’s undeniable heaviness, whilst retaining the clarity of their epic song writing.  “Extinction Curse” is a bold and compelling statement from Tides of Sulfur. The shockwaves from this seismic detonation are sure to be felt throughout the UK underground and far beyond.
 
 
“Extinction Curse” CD//DD track listing:
 
1. Eternal Bleeding
2. ...Of Suffering and Grief
3. Woe To You O Destroyer
4. Malthiest
5. Extinction Curse
6. Iron Fists Shall Rust
7. Year of Pigs
 
The Review:
 
Cardiff trio, Tides of Sulfur, have been building quite a buzz over the past year or so. Following releases on either side of the Atlantic on Against All Odds Productions and F H E D records, there is a palpable air of anticipation for their full-length debut “Extinction Curse”.  Thankfully the album delivers on this promise and then some.
 
The band’s heady blend of aggressive sludge, epic doom and furious crust has been honed to perfection here. The likes of “Eternal Bleeding” and “Maltheist” bring to mind the lumbering gloom of Unearthly Trance, bolstered by the relentless riff engine of High on Fire. “Woe To You O Destroyer" comes out of the blocks like vintage Mastodon then settles into some gut-churning chugging interrupted by bursts of dirty death metal. Hints of black metal come to the fore at the climax of “Iron Fists Shall Rust” to add yet another facet to the band’s onslaught.
 
The calmer moments of the album demonstrate that Tides of Sulfur can be just as effective when they dial back the distortion. The bleak introduction of “…Of Suffering and Grief” creates an unsettling atmosphere. A menacing monotone speaks over a bare arpeggio and eerie background noise that sounds like the playing of a broken violin drifting up from the bottom of a well. All this makes the sledgehammer impact of the band at full tilt all the more crushing. The mammoth 13-minute title track benefits from passages of ominous clean guitar that add dynamic weight to the song’s labyrinthine journey. “Year of Pigs” brings the album to a close in almost understated fashion but is all the heavier and more effective for its relative restraint.
 
This is an astonishingly confident and assured record for a debut LP, helped by excellent production by Chris Fielding. He has managed to capture the filth of the band’s undeniable heaviness, whilst retaining the clarity of their epic songwriting.
 
Extinction Curse” is a bold and compelling statement from Tides of Sulfur. The shockwaves from this seismic detonation are sure to be felt throughout the UK underground and far beyond.
 
Extinction Curse” is available here
 
Band info: Facebook

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