Saved By Fear

Written by: MT on 15/02/2011 23:14:44

Maybe it’s a backlash against modern uber-produced metal or a homage to old school death metal that inspires these bands. I’d like to think the latter is true for Dukatalon and the acts that Relapse seems to be signing at the moment, most hailing from the “dirty south” of America, albeit Dukatalon are an exception. Despite sounding much like their counterparts across the other side of the world, they hail from Israel and are serving the up a hefty portion of sludge metal with their debut album “Saved By Fear”.

I’ve got to be honest, when reading up on these chaps and listening to the album, it took me a while to realise that “IL” didn’t stand for Illinois and instead Israel. I guess with the internet making the world such a small place, genres are spawned “in the clouds” nowadays and regional boundaries no longer apply; I was convinced they were from America. Dukatalon, like their counterparts, Howl and Black Tusk who I previously reviewed, trudge with mammoth-like steps through a distorted wall of sound that can best described as some sort of doom sludge. By the sounds of it, Swedish veterans Entombed have had quite an influence on this movement.

The album kicks off with “Pai’s”, which has some good moments and sets the listener up for a heavy duty listening experience, which it evolves into as the album progresses. In this context however, “heavy duty” means that getting through the album is hard work as the material is simply not well enough written to hold my attention for very long. Halfway through there is a bit of relief with “Saved By Fear”; a tight acoustic jam. But after that, the onslaught of uninspired and messy writing continues. The album sounds like an unfocused jam and could merit from being worked on by a better producer to act as a filter for the better ideas to come through.

The sound of the album itself is not very impressive. It sounds like a lo-fi sound was being sought but it almost feels underproduced. It’s hard hear what’s going on at times. It’s a shame this release didn’t quite carry the weight of what I’d hoped for from a debut. Dukatalon may have the potential to grow as songwriters, given time.


Download: Pai's, Saved By Fear
For The Fans Of: Howl, Black Tusk, Entombed
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 16.11.2010
Relapse Records

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