Friday, 5 June 2020

SLOATH - III (Album Review)

Release date: June 19th 2020. Label: Riot Season Records. Format: DD/Vinyl

III – Tracklisting

1.Big Shift
2.Rewengue 07:05 video
3.Special Force
4.The Piece
5.The Beast
6.The Whistler


Tom - Bass
Dave - Drums
Leon - Guitars
Luke - Guitars
Kai - Vocals


SLOATH have been hiding in the UK Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal Background for the best part of two decades now and that shows no sign of changing in the future. SLOATH have released 2 full length records and 1 EP in their 13 year career. The band only perform live on very rare occasions and I thought the band had split up for good after their acclaimed 2014 album – Deep Mountain.

I’m not going to lie when I received the promo for SLOATH new album – III. As I was over the fucking moon. I’m a huge fan of these guys and their blend of Doom, Drone, Sludge and Stoner Metal merged with a heavy Psychedelic and Distorted Grooves. Imagine a band raised on a steady and heavy diet of EARTH, Black Sabbath, SLEEP, Floor and TORCHE. As SLOATH would be the deliciously heavy and twisted result.

III is a massive sounding album with the band playing a truly original style of Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Metal where heavy amounts of FUZZ and Stereo Feedback are key with the Droned Out Vocals of Kai having a shamanic effect.

The opening song of Big Shift is six minutes of LOUD and CRUSHING slow-played distorted guitars with a Drone/Sludge Metal texture leading the way. The music is quite catchy in places with SLOATH continuing where there last album left off but with a more Drone riff-centric groove being adapted for the majority of the album. Take in the trippy hybrid sounds that SLOATH play here as the rest of the album follows the same structure though with a few changes of musical direction along the way.

There are six songs on the album and the majority run between 5 mins to 8 mins in length and SLOATH add a few unexpected Ambient and Psychedelic Sounds along the way that allows their music to have a more classic feel to it.

Songs such as: Rewengue, Special Force and The Piece carry on the Shamanic madness that III ultimately possess with low-tuned FUZZ based guitars allowing the band to play some of the most weirdest, heaviest and far-out sounds of their career so far. The vocals have a 60s/70s freakout effect and the band feel like they’ve been helped along the way by certain WEEDIAN influences when making this album.

If you’re in the mood for a more freakish and psychedelic version of Black Sabbath and SLEEP then SLOATH could be the band for you. This is quite surreal in places with the many different styles of Psychedelic Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal the band employ on this album.

III is going to require many listens to fully understand but it’s a good job that SLOATH have included a non-stop array of finely tuned riffs that are quite breathtaking to hear in places.

The final song – The Whistler – is the standout song for myself with SLOATH playing a stripped back style of music that’s played at a deliberate slow pace.

III is perhaps SLOATH’s most grown-up album to date and offers long-time fans of the band a sense of familiar sounds they haven’t heard in a long time but also allowing the music to be creatively different and beautifully heavy from start to finish.

Riot Season Records are once again releasing this album and they’ve released all of the bands albums starting way back in 2010. So KUDOS to Riot Season Records for keeping faith with SLOATH and releasing another thrilling album from these reclusive rockers.

Overall, III is a Top 10 Album Of The Year personally for myself and I’m hoping that we hear more from SLOATH in the future. If not, then this is a truly wonderful album to end their careers with.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Riot Season Records for the promo. III will be available to buy on DD/Vinyl from Riot Season Records from June 19th 2020.