Burning World / Head Of Crom (Feb 2014)
Heading towards their 10th anniversary later in 2014, Slomatics’ aim has always been to “reduce riffs to a primal state of heaviness” and “create a euphoric state of wellbeing”. This Northern Irish band came extremely close to achieving that ambition – or certainly the first part – on their previous full-length release ‘A Hocht’. But with ‘Estron’, their fourth album, they have expanded their ambitions and broadened their musical landscapes, reaching a whole new level.
Warm, rich guitar tones wash over you like a gentle solar wind, sludgy riffs melt your brain like the lava from an ancient Martian volcano, synthesizers create an unfamiliar, otherworldly atmosphere, and vocalist/drummer Marty Harvey carries you with him on a delirious, beautiful, terrifying voyage into the universal depths of blackness. The multi-skilled Harvey brings a cosmic adventurousness coupled with a sense of maturity and melody. Slomatics are no longer just about giving you a nosebleed with their stupendously heavy sound – now they’re about giving you a nosebleed … IN SPACE!
The six songs (plus one brief instrumental) are slow, gargantuan and crushing, but they seem to rocket along at a fair rate of G’s, with stars and planets flying by. Only the closing track – a bleak misery-fest called ‘The Carpenter’ – clocks in at over ten minutes and, before you know it, you’ve reached the end of the adventure. While it is refreshing to hear this kind of accessible-but-still-sledgehammer-heavy sludge, a number of the songs could have been given a little more time to grow and develop. Slomatics might have afforded themselves even greater license to get experimental, particularly with their spaced-out keys and inventive vocal patterns.
‘Estron’ is mightily impressive, superior sludge played with conviction, skill and intelligence. If primal euphoria was the ambition, it’s mission accomplished for Slomatics.
The fascinating artwork was created by Tony Roberts http://www.blackmindseye.org