Tuesday 4 November 2014

Sloths - Twenty Years EP (Review)

Album Type: EP
Date Released: Out Now
Label: TGIS, DLLMR, Illuminasty Records

‘Twenty Years’ DD/LP  track listing:

1). Elegy 2:42
2). Void 4:08
3). Passing 6:04

The Band:

Alec | Bass
Nate | Drums & Vocals
Kyle | Guitars & Vocals


SLOTHS, from Portland Oregon, play music that is dark, fast, noisy and enveloping. Dynamically created by three musicians, SLOTHS songs are simultaneously expansive, exacting and emotionally charged. The guitars skirt from nihilistic noise to haunted bouts of swirling melody while spazzy drums flail from blast beats to d beats to cymbal-destroying grooves; the music is anchored by sludge laden, riff focused bass playing and accented by shredded throat vocals. Formed in late 2010 with the goal of creating heavy music without boundaries, SLOTHS have released a demo and two EPs the later of which, “Knives” was released on Vinyl via Black Lake Records, Don’t Live Like Me Records, Loaded Sound Records, and Hash Crimes.  They have extensively toured the west coast as well as covering the majority of the US in August 2013.
 Their new EP, “Twenty Years” is a trio of songs recorded with Fester at Haywire Studios (Nux Vomica, Honduran) and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege (Baptists, Sleep, Oathbreaker, Tragedy). It is a split release between The Ghost Is Clear Records, Don’t Live Like Me Records, and Illuminasty Records. The songs are connected musically and thematically with recurring melodies that are altered by their sonic surroundings and lyrics that examine what it means to die young. The lyrics are influenced by the recent death of a friend and the perspective gained by seeing the aftermath of such a tragedy. The music maneuvers through a range of tones and moods, all colored by the bleak subject matter yet accented by a flickering lightness that hints at acceptance while serving to render its surroundings in even darker shades. SLOTHS will be bringing this material on the road during a West Coast/Midwest tour this September.


Sloths… an appropriate name for a doom band. One of those bands with 15 minute long songs that play 6 chords a minute through fuzzed out old tube amps, a band you could find almost relaxing in its heaviness. One that will make you sit back and think about weed, hatred, HP Lovecraft. We all know the countless bands like this (and love the hell out of them), but in this case Sloths has deceived us with their name.

Sloths is certainly not a band of Sloths. Instead, they seems to me like a band of pissed off killers channeling all their weird rage into this badass EP, to make for a brutal, aggressive, interesting bit of music. They keep their tempo anything but Sloth like, always changing it up and never getting boring or repetitive. At no point in this album is there filler, or any nonessential material. And while I’m at it, not only is their band name a lie, but the album name is a lie, too! The three songs on this album clock in at just under 13 minutes total. However, if you listen to it like I did, on repeat; it might as well be ‘20 years’ because it’s a very hard album to turn off. These motherfuckers really know how to combine anger, riffs and atmosphere into some very compact bits of music.

I have nothing against long, repetitive, slow doom. It’s some of my favorite genres of music in the world, but I’m also always happy to hear a band with doomy, sludgey elements like this that do their own thing and don’t fall into any specific category. They slow it down when the song demands it, they speed it up when the song demands it. They end the song when it should end and they don’t add in any extraneous bits. They even bring in the blast beats a few times… a very nice touch when used well, and they sure do use it well. They also add in plenty of cleaner breakdowns with melodic, melancholy chords to add some more variety, while still keeping one cohesive sound.

I haven’t listened to any of their previous albums, but you can be sure I’ll be going after them now. These guys seem to be the epitome of a good ol’ no nonsense, heavy duty power trio with a good handle on what they want to do with their music. Granted, they probably won’t “shatter your illusion of music” or change your life, but if you want to just sit back and listen to some genuine metal with no bullshit, this is a good album to reach for.

Words by: Alex D.

You can pick up the DD as a ‘pay what you like’ here
Limited vinyl is available here

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