By: Chris Bull
Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 02/09/2016
Label: Black Bow Records
When a band's guitarist has their own signature fuzz pedal, it's a safe bet that they can cut through solid rock with their riffs; when both guitarists have an alternate version of the same pedal then prepare your eardrums for some serious, rock crushing heaviosity. The towering heaviness of the riffs and the images of the infinite, shimmering darkness of space is executed and captured perfectly. An amazing album worthy of any and all praise it will undoubtedly receives.
‘Future Echo Returns’ CD//DD//LP track listing:
2). Electric Breath
3). In The Grip of Fausto
4). Ritual Beginnings
5). Rat Chariot
7). Into The Eternal
It seems as though 2016 is the year when the UK kicks the ass of the rest of the world in terms of heavy, sludgy, doomy musical output. Slomatics make no exception on 'Future Echo Returns' their 5th album and part 3 of their spacey trilogy that began with 'A Hocht'.
Even without a bassist, Slomatics manage to hammer out riffs with the weight and impact of a fleet of anvils dropped from the empire state building; 'Estronomicon' gives us a brief glimpse while 'Electric Breath' smashes the point home. Vocals from vocalist/drummer Marty Harvey are exceptional here; as they are on 'In The Grip Of Fausto'. More melodic and powerful than some of Slomatics earlier work, demonstrating how much he's come on in recent years. Things get much more mellow and ambient on 'Ritual Beginnings' with slow building guitar arpeggios that transform into drawn out single notes, chords (and even what sounds like a xylophone). '
‘Rat Chariot' has the classic Slomatics feel to it. It could be the freshly bathed, more alluring but nonetheless heavyweight younger sibling of 'Beyond Acid Canyon' from 2012's 'A Hocht' album. Ex- Conan bassist/vocalist Phil Coumbe weighs in with some serious growls towards the songs lumbering conclusion. When a band's guitarist has their own signature fuzz pedal, it's a safe bet that they can cut through solid rock with their riffs; when both guitarists have an alternate version of the same pedal (you have to check out Dunwich Amplification) then prepare your eardrums for some serious, rock crushing heaviosity. This speaks volumes on penultimate track 'Supernothing' with its gigantic riffs slicing through solar systems. More superb melodies come from Harvey's epic vocals and make this one of seven stand out tracks. Yes, I know what I just said.
Finally, we get somewhat of a reprise of 'Ritual Beginnings' on final track 'Into The Eternal', the slightly overdriven choral vocals and what sounds like synths prepare the scene for some killer heavy music. Have you ever heard a sludge doom band use 'whoa whoa's and 'yeah yeah's’ and thought "nah, that ain't right."? Well on this, it fucking works! The majesty of the scene Slomatics have conveyed over the 6 previous tracks (and 2 previous albums) means that actual lyrics would do the song a disservice. I mean, what would you say if you were floating through the vast emptiness of outer space? This is why it makes sense. Some satellite bleeps and spacey sounds travel through the soundscapes as well as some lead guitar work which adds an extra dimension to the whole make up of the song and makes for a glorious conclusion, not only to this album, but to the trilogy.
Slomatics riffs and Chris Fielding's epic production are a marriage made in doom heaven. The towering heaviness of the riffs and the images of the infinite, shimmering darkness of space is executed and captured perfectly. An amazing album worthy of any and all praise it will undoubtedly receive.
Now if that hasn’t whetted your appetite enough you can stream the monumental track “Rat Chariot” below and David Majury from the band had the following to say about the track
“Rat Chariot: This was one of the first songs we wrote for “Future Echo Returns” and in many ways it sets the tone for how we wanted the record to sound. When we talked about light and shade this one is definitely shade - the darker the better! We were delighted to have Phil Coumbe from Drought guest on this song. Lord and Master indeed!"
‘Future Echo Returns’ is available here
RIYL: Conan, Mares of Diomedes, Bongripper, Slabdragger