Saturday, 28 November 2015

Slomatics - Flooding The Weir & Kalceanna (Reissues) - (Album Reviews)



Release date: November 20th 2015. Label: Black Bow Records. Format: DD

Flooding The Weir – Tracklisting

01 I Mean You No Harm (part 1)
02 Running Battle
03 The Technique
04 Celeste
05 March Of The 1000 Volt Ghost
06 I Mean You No Harm (part 2)

Kalceanna – Tracklisting

01 Griefhound
02 By Thor
03 Mans Hands
04 Dirt By The Stooges
05 Meanwhile
06 Viking Sea

Band Members:

David : Guitar
Chris : Guitar
Marty Harvey : Vocals, Drums

Ex-Member Joe (Drums) originally played on both albums before Marty joined in 2011.

Review:

For the past decade, the purveyors of skullcrushing heaviness that are Belfasts Slomatics have been pounding audiences into dust with their all encompassing brand of slow and heavy doom. The bands new record label Black Bow records (which is run by Jon Davis of the mighty Conan) have reissued their first two albums 2005s Flooding The Weir and 2007s Kalceanna and gives fans who may have missed them the first time a chance to be blown away at the mindfucking riffs that are on show and with no remastering or anything like that on these reissues, this is Slomatics at their primal best.

The world of heavy music was introduced to the world of Slomatics in 2005 with Flooding The Weir, an introduction to the tortoise slow and elephant heavy sound that the band have become well known for. On most of the tracks on Flooding a The Weir, the vocals are few and far between but the bands music is just as effective without them (although the pained barks, when they do occur are a joy to behold) and the band just let the hefty music do the talking, the riffs, heavy as any you will hear and paced as if on mogadon are the focal point but are enhanced by the pounding drums and the sludgy dirge of the bass play a big part as well.

The album is bookended by I Mean You No Harm (Part 1) and I Mean You No Harm (Part 2), two substantial slabs of riffs and noise that both open and close the album perfectly and demonstrate perfectly the crushing Slomatics sound and with the likes of Running Battle, March Of The 1000 Volt Ghost and The Technique, Slomatics get the head banging and head melting blend of heaviness just right.

The albums highlight, the wonderful dirge of Celeste, starts off with a mournful into before those riffs swoop in and destroy all in its path and with the vocals sounding as if they were recorded in the pits of hell, it's doom laden goodness of the best kind.

By the time you have reached the end of Flooding The Weir with those riffs ringing in your ears, you will feel in awe at just how crushing the experience was and will want to experience it all over again.

Slomatics released the follow up to Flooding The Weir in 2007 and that album Kalceanna takes the foundation that was started with that album and turns everything up considerably. While the bands debut was clouded in fuzzy riffs, the riffs on Kalceaana are still fuzzy but a tad cleaner and are, if anything, even heavier than the riffs that defined its predecessor. Just listen to the opening riff for starters on first track Griefhound and you will hear them in action, the riffs are so heavy they could bring down tower blocks! The bass and drums are still as heavy too with the bass just as dirgey and filthy as in the bands debut and the drums just as pounding and when these three elements are brought together the results are devastating.

The likes of the heavy sludge of By Thor and the impenetrable force of Mans Hands are supreme lessons in how to do heavy music the right way and the magnificently titled Dirt By The Stooges is as slow and crushing as it gets. Album standout, Meanwhile starts as with an intro that is as beautiful as it is full of sorrow before all hell breaks loose and the sound of menace is unleashed throughout the song.

Kalceanna features more vocals on the album, a brutal set of vicious barks set to attack (best witnessed on Mans Hands or Meanwhile for example) and the bands none more heavier sound gets heavier as a result. The album finishes with Viking Sea, an epic 11 minute plus tidal wave of heaviness and doom and this song has to be the most complete encapsulation of the Slomatics sound and a fitting way to finish things off.

When you listen to these albums back to back you can see how Slomatics sound evolved and actually gets heavier and considering how heavy the band were to begin with, this is something to be in awe of.

Slomatics will have a brand new album out on Black Bow next year so while you eagerly wait for that sure to be monster of an album, sit back and let these first two albums devour you whole and appreciate the beginnings of one of the heaviest bands Britain has ever produced.

Words by Gavin Brown

Thanks to Dewar and Black Bow Records for both promos. Kalceanna and Flooding The Weir are available to buy on DD  via Black Bow Records on all digital platforms now.

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