Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Spaceslug - Eye The Tide (Album Review)

Release date: July 20th 2018. Label: BSFD Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Eye The Tide – Tracklisting

Spaced by One
Eternal Monuments
Words Like Stones
Vialys part I & II
I, The Tide


Bartosz Janik – Guitar, Vocal
Jan Rutka – Bass, Vocal
Kamil ZiĆ³lkowski – Drums, Vocal

The Lowdown

They say that there is no rest for the wicked and that saying can equally be true for Spaceslug. As Spaceslug return with their third album - Eye The Tide. This is their third record within the last eighteen months. Following their acclaimed second album - Time Travel Dilemma and recent EP - Mountains & Reminiscence,

Spaceslug have decided to release their heaviest and bleakest album to date. Their past albums were full of brutally heavy Psychedelic Doom/Stoner sounds. However, Eye The Tide sees Spaceslug opt for a gloomier Post-Metal sound and even sees the band play an almost Blackened Doom Metal style of music. Though more about that later.

Opening track - Obsolith - is the type of song that Spaceslug excel at. Swirling psychedelic noises merged against Ambient and Post-Rock progressive elements. The familiar post-doom/stoner and spaced out vibes is still highly original and intriguing. The whole structure of the song has a more drone based quality and this allows Spaceslug to create a more reflective and personal album.

Second song - Spaced By One - could have easily been included on their last album. As the song has the same light/heavy progressive parts. This is perhaps where you begin to feel Spaceslug's overall bleak vision of the album. As the lyrics, vocals and music can be emotionally cold and distant compared to their previous albums. Spaceslug still manage to create a highly complex and progressive sound that will be eerie familiar to longtime fans of the band.

Third track - Eternal Monuments - opens with a long drawn out and highly volatile Ambient/Doom/Drone sound with different layers of noise being added for dramatic effect. The sludge/stoner riffs slowly appear but Spaceslug yet again experiment with their trademark sound. The atmosphere of the album becomes heavier and even more depressing as time passes by. The instrumental work is simply superb though the vocals feel underwhelming on this song. This perhaps would have worked better as an instrumental song.

The next song is perhaps where long-time fans will find the most issue with. As the next song - Words Like Stones - sees Spaceslug adapt a more blackened doom approach to their music. The song opens with their familiar Psych Doom/Stoner hybrid sound before the atmosphere becomes pitch-black with the blackened doom/sludge metal sounds becoming increasingly violent. The vocals are a mixture of clean vocals and pitch black hardcore growls. Spaceslug take influence from Neurosis and Cult Of Luna on this song and they do deserve credit for trying something different. The fast-paced and almost post-black metal sounding guitar riffs could give a clear indication what Spaceslug's music may sound in the future.

This may seem I'm not a huge fan of this song. Far from it. I think this maybe Spaceslug's best song they've written to date. Though long-time fans may find this song very overwhelming at fist. As it's a different sounding Spaceslug.

The final two songs - Vialys Parts I & II and The Tide - sees the band return to their classic sound but with a more grunge based approach. These two songs show you why Spaceslug are highly regarded within the Doom/Stoner Metal community. As the mood can only be described as magical with the progressive doom/stoner vibes even allowing for some cool sounding post-rock moments.

Spaceslug end up delivering their boldest and most creative album to date. I still prefer Time Travel Dilemma to this album. However that hasn’t stopped Spaceslug from delivering an ummissable and must-have album.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Richard at Sheltered Life PR and Jadd at Red Lead Media for the promo. Eye The Tide will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via BSFD Records from July 20th 2018.

Pre-orders will be available soon from Spaceslug's BandCamp Page