Sunday 26 January 2014

Slomatics - Estron (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : TBC
Label : Head Of Crom / Burning World

Estron,  album track listing :

1). Troglorite 04:22
2). Tunnel Dragger 05:56
3). Futurian 04:15
4). Lost Punisher 03:42
5). And Yet It Moves 07:11
6). Red Dawn 02:01
7). The Carpenter 10:28

The Band :

David/ Chris |  guitars/amplification
Marty | traps/ howls/ cowbell

Review :

The Belfast bruisers return, baring their teeth and swinging a new album like a motherfucking sonic axe. That's right, an axe made of sound. 'Estron' may be more subtle than escapades past but it's still murkier than a bayou, and you're just as likely to drown your ass in it.

Starting off with album opener 'Troglorite' the boys waste very little time in re-establishing themselves as a dominant force in low-end wrangling. The wind can be heard swirling in the background right before the first of MANY colossal riffs land on top of the nearest mountain and decides to breathe molten doom in your direction. But as I mentioned earlier, it's less pointed and bludgeoning on this track than in the past. This album sounds more honed, I hesitate to use the word 'matured' as that would bring to mind less rock n' roll enthusiasms like, say, cheese and wine tasting parties. This is still heavy and pounding, but with a focus and intent not yet observed within Slomatics output. And the vocals are even clearer than before also to add to the effect. Very good indeed.

Of course it isn't very long before we stray back into somewhat more familiar and comfortably deafening territory with 'Tunnel Dragger'. As a band they possess an ability not shared with many other outfits (other than Conan perhaps) to just absolutely bounce your skull off the wall with the sheer power of a fat riff. But again, with the calmness part way through the cut. Subtle drums and spacey oscilloscope sounds scale the intensity back just a bit before the crush comes full circle. Honestly, this is a cracking tune.

'Lost Punisher' isn't about the time Frank Castle accidentally left his road map in his other coat pocket (type the name into Google, losers), but it most certainly is punishing. That classic repeated buzz of their guitar, twinned with those cymbals crashing like a satellite into a cymbal store that's experiencing issues with overstocking. All of it equals a Slomatics song, and it feels amazing.

All in all a more varied affair than earlier albums, and not for the worse either. They have progressed to a more pure point of heavy. They're not just satisfied with clubbing you over the head anymore it would seem, their argument is more refined and as a result feels more enduring. There's even piano involved! If you're a fan of the band then you will always enjoy what they have to offer, but I get the feeling that 'Estron' will linger in the memory for even longer than usual. A real triumph of quality and structure, and a new height scaled in an already stellar career of amp vandalism. It's just that this time they really want to leave a lasting mark.

Slomatics was here, 2014.

Words by : Matt Fitton

The record will be available to buy in the next couple of weeks here and here