Lounge music for the aftermath of the apocalypse; the sound crawling, seeping through Slow As Shit certainly lives up to its title, and indeed the name of its creator Sloth. The predominantly instrumental album is half predation, half raw hypnotic temptation; a mix breed of doom and sludgy invention at times entwined with electronic and stoner mischief, and a very solid and alluring introduction to the solo project of Blake Caverly.
With inspirations probably safe to assume coming from the likes of Pallbearer, Bongripper, and Boris, Sloth and Slow As Shit swiftly entice and intrigue with opener Meditate. Instantly dark and cavernous with a portentous air to its emergence, the brief piece is the sonic yawn of a beast about to arise and slowly lumber across the senses. Its successor Green Sunrise similarly begins on a provocative sonic touch, its radioactive texture soon breeding thick, slowly stretching tendrils of guitar and creeping rhythms. As the atmosphere becomes more caustically blustery, the grooves find a ‘warmer’ voice to their enterprise whilst beats explore even more intrusive intent in contrast, all elements uniting in a predatory crawl as suitable to the ascent of a beast like Mothra as it would be to the demise of life as we know it. The imposingly alluring encounter continues to brew malcontent in its nature and extensive presence though like a couple of the other tracks, it stays a minute or two too long for personal tastes but with strong hooks and smart repetition aligning with the craft and imagination of the song, it ensures a captivating start to the album.
Waking Up follows and shares a heavier, more malevolently hued landscape and surrounding air with ears. As in its predecessors, and indeed those to come, electronic essences and temptations bubble and simmer within the dark doomscape of the song, their shards of unpredictability and spatial light increasing the intoxicating melodic endeavour veining the creative mass of shadows and suggestiveness. A post rock breeze similarly brings to light new aspects and depths to the music, each glimpse adding more colour to the sound and the temptation working away on the imagination.
The following Call Of The Sloth is another intensive crawl over the listener; its smog of invasive energy bred in the sonic craft of Caverly, itself a keen persuasion to body and thoughts. Every moment in its nine plus minutes, brings fresh tones and rich slithers of imagination but also, certainly on the surface, a few close similarities to the tracks around it, that element emphasized in the repetitious air which coats the song’s extensive length. Nevertheless, it is little less than compelling as it sets ears and thoughts up for the ravenous experience of Nothing But Leaves. Featuring vocals from Mikey Gascoyne of Valravn, the track is a tantalising mix of melodic melancholy, doom bred suffocation, and scarred blackened textures which twist and evolve whilst luring in other flavours around the raw tones of Gascoyne. It perpetually crackles and burns on the senses, leaving scarred flesh in its corrosive wake whilst equally inciting an eager appetite for more with its melodic enterprise.
Awaken That Which Lies Amongst The Trees cakes the senses in a thick atmospheric trespass and sonic acidity next, the guitar craft of Caverly especially persuasive in tempering more savage vocal squalls whilst Smoke ‘N’ Sleep brings the album to a fine close with its unexpected, electronic stoner-esque waltz. Keys simply entice and dance in ears and imagination, the music’s air drifting as fluidly as the song title suggests as EBM seeded hooks add to the creative revelry. In many ways the track does not fit with what came before it but there is no escaping that it still provides a thoroughly enjoyable and relevant end to the release.
Slow As Shit is a great first glimpse at the craft and invention of Blake Caverly. It might not be the release to get you over excited but as we have found, it is likely to ignite potent intrigue in the exploits of Sloth ahead.
Slow As Shit is available from September 28th via the Sloth Bandcamp
Pete RingMaster 28/09/2105
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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