Sunday, 2 February 2020


By: Conor O’Dea

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 10/01/2020
Label: Brilliant Emperor Records

“II” DD//LP track listing

1). Infernal Devourment
2). The Resin Tomb
3). The Chaos Ov Iron Oppression
4). Mind Ov Maggots
5). Encapsulated Apocalypse
6). Impending Abysmal Wretchedness

The Review:

If you had advised me that I was going to begin 2020 and my long overdue and prodigal return to the annals of SLUDGELORD by writing a review of a blackened death band named after a Pokemon, I would have suggested that you were either a liar or a troll. If you had further insisted that said band was named after the infamous Snorlax, whose most feared abilities include its preponderance for sleep and eating while sleeping, I would have pronounced you mad. But here we both are, considering a thoroughly savage work of metal under the aegis of a pocket monster "docile enough to let children and small Pokémon bounce on its large stomach." Moving on...

This debut full-length album is exclusively the labour and talent of Brendan Auld, who also plays rhythm guitar in the excellent blackened grind band Siberian Hell Sounds. Six tracks are featured on this album, a runtime of 23:10. And let me tell you, not a whisper, breath or riff is wasted. The entry wound, “Infernal Devourment”, raggedly saws into a indefatigable chainsawing of unrestrained but subtly complex riff changes. There is a clever fusion here of some second-wave melodicism with both the grimness of some current Danedeath and a restrained application of classic buzzsawing. This careful alchemy of materials is carried forth best in “The Chaos Ov Iron Oppression” - cavernous with threatening edges of dissonance, it nevertheless works itself around melodic motifs that ground the track with unerring structural confidence. “Mind Ov Maggots” almost swings Finnish-black in the sweep of its tenebrous harmonies and the warm undertones that sound like Hephaestic fires glowing in the mantle of the earth. The final minute of this track comes together with incredible weight and primal force. 
“Encapsulated Apocalypse” features a chugging, sludgy bridge that flows seamlessly into the marching and dirgeilke funerality of “Impending Abysmal Wretchedness”. Performances here on all fronts are excellent, but the vocals are worthy of particular note: swinging from chasmic depths to near shrieks, they create a terrific and terrifying ambience throughout the album.  It is hard to believe that this album is under 24 minutes in length. This has nothing to do with feeling like it outstays its welcome; quite the opposite in fact. What Brendan Auld accomplishes in that short time is nothing short of massive - the album feels huge, like the looming shadow of some primordial titan. Or possibly a 460 kg Pokemon. Either way, this album is accomplished, polished without a trace of overproduction, and as heavy as an event horizon. Get it. 

“II” is available HERE

Band info: bandcamp || facebook