Wednesday 6 July 2016

Choice Cuts: "The Id Will Overcome" - The Abominable Iron Sloth (2010)

By: Aaron Pickford

Years Active: 2004 - ?
Records to Date: 2
Genre: Sludge, Hardcore
Labels: Goodfellow Records,
Undergroove Records,
Black Market Activites,
Metal Blade Records

The Band:

Audrey Pope | Bass
Andre Sanabria | Drums
Justin Godfrey | Guitars, vocals

The Review:

Upon scanning through my music library for an attention grabbing record, I happened upon a record which is still a source of huge excitement for me coming some six years after its original release.  The band encapsulates a memory of a time when buying music was much more interactive, but most of all and most importantly, today’s subject of choice cuts, is all about sheer oppressiveness and an overwhelming brutality. 

The album in question, “The Id Will Overcome” by The Abominable Iron Sloth, was in some ways not destined to happen, coming some 4 years after their self titled debut, the band was dogged by difficulties, perhaps none more so than returning home after a difficult UK tour back in 2006-7 ( I saw them in Sheffield).  The Sloth would also go through line up changes, a change of label and band name, but alas The Sloth (The Abominable not The Indominable) returned with Justin Godrey assembling a new line up, a new home in the shape of Black Market Activities and the resultant album was just colossal.

Aubrey Pope (Bass) from the band recalls of the recording Basically Guy of  BMA reached out to Justin I believe and said he was such a fan of the last album that he wanted to put out the next one, no matter if he lost money on it. He just wanted to make it happen. He flew us out to Kentucky I believe, to work with Chris Owens. We slept in the studio there for a week and basically wrote half of it while recording. Dre (Drum) had already been in the band and I joined when Justin moved back to California. We had been friends since I was in high school before The Sloth started so it just made sense to throw me in the mix I guess.”

What “The Id Will Overcome” presented to the listener was predominantly anguish and misery, due in no small part to the tortured performance of main man Justin Godfrey, but the despair of the record was matched by the sheer weight of the music that accompanied it.  The drums were minimalist, unobtrusive but snappy, with a dense and organic feel, which married well with the obese nature of the riffs, and what they lacked in technicality they made up for in sheer elephantine girth, coupled with a bass tone that undulated your skin into pulp.    

The lineage of the band can be traced most notably to heavyweights Will Haven, and Armed for Apocalypse but the band was very much cut from the cloth of Godfrey, the driving force and sole original member.  The album was ugly; it was visceral but most importantly completely absorbing.  Perhaps similar in tone vocally to Iron Monkey, The Sloth were not your atypical sludge band, this was not southern fried but rather leaning more to the lineage of Will Haven, inherently down tuned and groove oriented but vitriolic and hateful. 

Album highlights of which they are many include “A Nation of Ignorants” which immediately locks you in with spite, riffs lacerating you like barbed wire and then the track veers into a maelstrom of violence and groove.  The aforementioned minimalism of the record, to me is what truly resonates; the album is sparse and dissonant, with riffs hitting you with blunt force, managing to devastate with weight and repetition rather than pace.  As a whole, when firing on all cylinders, The Abominable Iron Sloth, take a broken bottle, make you eat it and somehow make it enjoyable.  Worship at the alter of The Sloth and remember “A Family That Slays Together, Stays Together

Album Details:

The Id Will Overcome”, is second full length and was released on April 27th 2010 via Black Market Activites, the press wire remarked “raw, intense anthems rear their heads up out of feedback swells, like violent storms exploding out of thick Pacific Northwest gloom. With minimal tools - filthy guitars, primal drums, and unnerving vocals that convey true horror - AIS create brief, majestic epics that force heads to bang and teeth to gnash. Imagine the infectious simplicity of early Nirvana and the unhinged gut-spilling of Eyehategod.

The album was Recorded at Headbanging Kill Your Mama Music, Louisville, KY, by Chris Owens and mastered by Nick Zampiello at New Alliance.

“The Id Will Overcome” CD//DD track listing:

1) I Destroy
2) A Nation Of Ignorants
3) Slugs In A Salt Circle
4) Two Black Helicopters
5) Mongoroid
6) Nineties Male
7) The ID Will Overcome
8) Big Iron Door (Lyrics by Charles Manson)
9) Tramp Stamp
10) Killimanjaro Dreamin'
11) Heterodox Nonconformists
12) The Timely Death Of Billy Mays

Band info: facebook