Written by: PP on 02/05/2008 05:16:20

If I had to imagine a sound corresponding to being forced through a cheese grater, my guess is that the Swiss extreme metal masters Sludge\'s newest album \"Lava\" would probably be very close to it. It\'s been a while since I\'ve had to attack a metal onslaught as brutal as theirs, bringing a welcomed change the generic metal releases I\'ve had to deal with in the past few months.

As for extreme metal, Sludge positions themselves somewhere in between the tolerable and non-tolerable factions of the genre. The guitars are torturing, scraping every living piece out of you song after song, and the drums range between a full-on onslaught of blast-beast domination and atmospheric, thundering delivery. But the latter is only a minuscule part of the Sludge soundscape, as most of it relies on sheer brutal noise. Not in the way of a band like Cattle Decapitation who throws a serpentine riff after another on you, but more in an uncontrolled, chaotic, relentless ultra-distorted chord way, one that makes you wish your skull wasn\'t so hard so it would slide through the grater much easier than it does during \"Lava\". Add in a screaming vocalist who sounds like his vocal chords will be finished by the end of this year, and you\'ve got a mixture of sounds to suit the needs of every extreme metal fanatic out there.

But although Sludge are able to play chaotic extreme metal relying in next to no melody to the extent that they can be compared with some of the genre heavyweights, they are still lacking the most important aspect about music - writing distinguishable, memorable songs. Having suffered through close to a dozen listens of \"Lava\", I\'m still hard pressed to name a single title from the album. All I can remember is that on the first half of the album, the gas pedal is fully down whilst the decibels are the opposite, and on the second half of the album there are some (miserable) attempts at creating \'epic melody\' in an extreme metal format. But nothing specific. While it might be a fact that Sludge can write some pretty fucking brutal extreme metal, they are still lacking in the songwriting department, leaving them far off from the best releases in the genre.


Download: 60mm, Litanies
For the fans of: Aborted, Anaal Nathrakh, Celtic Frost
Listen: Myspace
Buy: iTunes

Release date 31.03.2008
Mighty Music
Provided by Target ApS

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