Saturday 13 February 2016

SLABDRAGGER - Rise Of The Dawncrusher (Album Review)

Release date: February 26th 2016. Label: Holy Roar Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Rise Of The Dawncrusher – Tracklisting

1.Mercenary Blues
3.Shrine of Debauchery
4.Dawncrusher Rising
5.Implosion Rites

Band Members:

Sam Thredder - Guitar/Grunts
Yusuf Tary - Bass/Shrieks
Jack Newnham - Drums/G-Ride


6 years, 3 drummers, 1 collapsed lung and several defining festival performances later Slabdragger are back with the follow up to 2010's "Regress" debut and what a follow up it is.

5 tracks delivered in one hour of what we here at Outlaws are already claiming will be one of if not THE album of the year. And it's only ruddy February.....

If you've seen Slabdragger live in the last couple of years then you've heard the first track "Mercenary Blues" which slides out of the speakers with ease starting with a groove laden opening riff, and some of the best clean vocals I've heard in a long time courtesy of bassist/vocalist Yusuf Tary, before the intensity and the pace of the track pick up, battering the listener with some of that trademark Slabdragger filth, as both Yusuf and guitarist/vocalist and the thankfully indestructible Sam Thredder swap vocals, the higher pitched almost Catton-esque howls of the former sitting nicely alongside the low guttural roars of the the latter.

Up next "Evacute!" - the shortest track on the album which doesn't even reach the five minute mark. It's an absolute monster and if you missed the Terrorizer stream of it, you can head over the bands Bandcamp page and stream it, whilst you pre order the album here.

"Shrine Of Debauchery" is the third track is for me the stand out track of the album, starting with some faintly distorted guitar, feedback and some hypnotic, tribal drums, and that distinctive bass before the track kicks in in earnest around the two and a half minute mark on a riff, that I promise you is going to cause casualties at gigs and festivals all over the country and beyond when it gets a live outing.

It's disgustingly heavy and I have no idea why, but it conjures up an image in my mind, that if Nile were a sludge band this is the kind of filth they would be playing.

The track rumbles on chopping between heavy and quiet, fast and slow until it settles back into the opening riff, which gradually slows with the haunting chanted vocal "Dawncrusher" over the top. This song has got stuck in my head, and I promise it will do the same to you.

The last two tracks "Dawncrusher Rising" and "Implosion Rites" both clocking in at over a monstorous 15 minutes, feature more of the bold, confident swagger of a band who know they are just about to deliver one of the standout albums of the year.

"Rise Of The Dawncrusher" may have been a long time in the making, in a day and age where a lot of their contemporaries are releasing albums, EP's and splits at a rate of knots, but Slabdragger are proving the old cliche that it really is: Quality Not Quantity That Counts.

A sublime release, worthy of the wait and worthy of all the praise that is being heaped on to their shoulders, go and pre-order it and if you're able to get to one their tour dates in February with OHHMS make sure you don't miss out on that either......

Words by Simon Ross Williams

Thanks to Holy Roar Records and Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo. Rise Of The Dawncrusher will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from HolyRoar Records from February 26th 2016.