Monday 30 December 2019

666 PACK REVIEW: The Best of the "666 PACK REVIEW" 2019

By: Nikos Mixas

If you’ve been paying attention, the 666 Pack Review is an abbreviated review column mostly focused on very new bands or bands that have submitted demo material to THE SLUDGELORD.  The basic premise is that 6 bands are critiqued using only 6 words and on a scale from 1 to 666.  What you see below is the best of the year 2019 for the “666 Pack Review”.  There were 8 bands that received the highest of ratings so please go show them some love by revisiting their music and their web pages.  We at THE SLUDGELORD hope great things come to them.  Congrats and hails to those bands that made the list!  May 2020 be sludgier and heavier!

January – There were two 666’s! (Does that make it 1332 or 121212?)

ILS “Pain Don’t Hurt” (Portland, U.S.A.)

This band won the Portland trophy. 

Yuxa “Yuxa” (Brighton, United Kingdom) 

If Godflesh kicked the industrial habit…


Seed of the Sorcerer, Womb of the Witch “Spell Book I: Ceridwen” (Denver, U.S.A.)

Guitar tone alone worth the 666!  


Mireplaner “A Mountain of Saola Hooves” (Finland)

Guaranteed to cardiac arrest old people.


Inhuman Nature “Inhuman Nature” (London, United Kingdom)

Sexy thrash ala the Bay Area!


Old Horn Tooth “From The Ghost Grey Depths” (London, U.K.)

God-doom fucking-tastic start to the month!


MUNT “Towards Extinction” (Melbourne, Australia)

Fucking hate on the barbie mate!


Adliga “Kali Paćjače Njeba” (Minsk, Belarus) 

Belarus for the win!  Отлично comrades!

Saturday 14 December 2019

ALBUM REVIEW: Nile, “Vile Nilotic Rites”

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 01/11/2019
Label: Nuclear Blast

“Vile Nilotic Rites” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Long Shadows of Dread
2. The Oxford Handbook of Savage Genocidal Warfare
3. Vile Nilotic Rites
4. Seven Horns of War
5. That Which Is Forbidden
6. Snake Pit Mating Frenzy
7. Revel In Their Suffering
8. Thus Sayeth the Parasites of the Mind
9. Where Is the Wrathful Sky
10. The Imperishable Stars Are Sickened
11. We Are Cursed

The Review:

Four years on from “What Should Not Be Unearthed”, Nile return with a new guitarist and bass player, with Karl Sanders and George Kollias still in place. However, it really is business as usual as far as the record's sound and approach are concerned. “Long Shadows of Dread” is, as always, impossibly dextrous and fast. Oxford Handbook of “Savage Genocidal Warfare” is brutal, the title track is a welcome change of tempo and offers up some excellent dynamics and song writing. The sound is excellent- the vocals are particularly well mixed and recorded.

What, then, what can Nile offer a couple of decades into the game and having rejuvenated the genre with their earlier albums? Well, the band sounds enthusiastically focused and are technically incredible, of course, and the Egyptian themes remain. Nile, at this stage in their career have entered into a similar strata as Obituary or Cannibal Corpse. They will no longer innovate- they have their own sound and style- but they will remain at the forefront of the genre and some albums are better than others! I found “Vile Nilotic Rites” to be more instantly gratifying than “What Should Not Be Unearthed”- insofar as that the songs are somehow less wilfully tech-y and seem to be a little more natural in their composition and delivery.

Whether it be the excellent scene setting intro of “That Which is Forbidden”, the epic “The Imperishable Stars are Sickened” or the straightforward aggression of “Snake Pit Mating Frenzy”, there is a lot to listen to here; the individual instruments, the superlative production and even... the song writing. It's not perfect; there is nothing here that can match Deicide for memorable 'tunes' and there is nothing to trouble a listener who heard “In Their Darkened Shrines” years ago and was blown away... However, this is a perfectly serviceable entry into Nile's musical canon and is, I think, better than their last album (which I loved at the time, but after exploring other albums rate a little lower these days) while not being up there with “ITDS” or “Annihilation of the Wicked”.

For fans of technical and brutal death metal, any Nile album is a must, for those who are new to the band- why not start here? For connoisseurs of Nile... well, it's solid and the band sound fully engaged and committed. On that basis, it's one of the best death metal albums you will hear this year but only time will tell how this fares in the overall Nile discography. A classic band have thus delivered a good album. No complaints here.

“Vile Nilotic Rites” is available HERE

Band info: facebook

Thursday 12 December 2019

EP PREMIERE: Oriza deliver politically charged noise fest on self titled EP

Hailing from Margate, Kent and Utilizing a slightly unorthodox line up of drums, two basses and noise setup with no guitar and minimal use of pedals, Oriza's politically motivated amalgamation of D Beat, Sludge, Black Metal and Powerviolence is getting its debut at THE SLUDGELORD, with the exclusive stream of their self-titled EP which is set for release on 15/12/2019 via Astral Noize Records & Halfmeltedbrain Records.  Check it out in full and preorder a copy HERE

Tuesday 10 December 2019

ALBUM REVIEW: Avatarium, "The Fire I Long For"

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 22/11/2019
Label: Nuclear Blast

“The Fire I long For” CD//DD//LP track listing:

01. Voices
02. Rubicon
03. Lay Me Down
04. Porcelain Skull
05. Shake That Demon
06. Great Beyond
07. The Fire I Long For
08. Epitaph Of Heroes
09. Stars They Move

The Review:

Avatarium, originally Leif Edling's brainchild, are back here with album number four. Over the course of the last six years, the band has produced some top quality dramatic doom with the excellent vocals of Jennie Ann Smith being a huge selling point beyond the huge riffs and sometimes ethereal music offered up by both Edling and more so Marcus Jiddell.

“The Fire I long For” is not as immediate as “The Girl With the Raven Mask”, and not as hard rocking as “Hurricanes and Halos”. It is not really akin to the debut either- if that helps at all. It's ambitiously structured and is a rather downbeat listen- maudlin rather than dreamy. The first three tracks offer up plenty of melodrama but it's a very different type of melodrama to, say, The Door To Doom.” by Candlemass

Opener “Voices” is a dark one- with a rather disappointing snare sound, but after that things pick up via “Rubicon” and “Lay Me Down”- reaching a first half peak with the sublime “Porcelain Skull”- great riffs and songwriting! There is also rock n roll aplenty here- “Shake That Demon” is hard driving rock of the best kind, bridging the two halves of the record and blowing away any atmospheric cobwebs. The BOC, Rainbow and Sabbath influences remain, of course, but Avatarium sound different to all other doom bands operating.

The epic “Great Beyond” and the title track share similar DNA; dark and spacey soundscapes of five minutes plus. The black as tar “Epitaph of Heroes” is the record's longest and darkest listen with no small amount of dramatic riffage. “Stars They Move” closes this intriguing and abstract record with varied instrumentation and an excellent vocal performance from Smith. The press release refers to Leonard Cohen as a writing influence and I can see and hear it here. This is a different album for Avatarium; progressive and ethereal, hard to grasp and a grower. You'll get a great record out of repeated listens. Another sublime record.

“The Fire I Long For” is available HERE

Band info: facebook

ALBUM REVIEW: Pist, "Hailz"

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 08/11/2019
Label: APF Records

“Hailz” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Ex-Nihilo
2. Wreck
3. Mind Rotter
4. Fools Gave Chase
5. If I Was You.....
6. Strangle The Sun (feat. Elephant Tree)
7. Skin Your God

The Review:

It was with high expectations that I pressed play on this sophomore effort from Pist, the North West's finest purveyors of... metal/blackened-stoner/sludge/what-have-you. With its respectful nod to a Manchester underground legend for the title and the contents herein only glimpsed via watching them support Orange Goblin back in January, I thought this would be a cracker. I wasn't wrong.

This lands somewhere between Raging Speedhorn, Bast, Orange Goblin and Sabbath. It's not really categorisable and all the more appealing for it. Pist have carved out their own niche. They are a brutal proposition live and on record they have not disappointed. Opener “Ex-Nihilo” has pretty much all elements present and correct- big riffs, rolling blast sections, vocals of several types and it all works wonderfully.

As the album progresses on via “Wreck” (ATG and Swe-Death influence present), “Mind Rotter” with dynamic sections and more unusual rhythms combined with very catchy riffing and onwards, it's clear that the record doesn't stick with any one genre for long and is best summed up as quality metal- there is some fire forged blood running through the very veins of this album.

The aggro-metal of “Fools Gave Chase” gives way to spooky atmospherics and black metal type progressions thereafter. “If I was You” is a dark journey through extremity and with only “Strangle The Sun” and “Skin Your God” to go, the record has shown itself to be richly varied and unique.

The former of the aforementioned pairing is dark and dreamy- imagine Tricky doing a metal track, perhaps? “Skin Your God”, meanwhile, is a riff heavy beast of grooves, a dreamlike mellower and a fetid blast of extreme metal by turns. Overall, this album has a lot of parts and somehow manages to be more than the sum of them. Where Pist will go from here is anyone's guess, but hopefully it will be out of Bury on a regular basis to pulverise more stages. The British metal underground is alive and well, with Pist making their claim as the best of the lot.

“Hailz” is available HERE

Band info: bandcamp || facebook