Tuesday 9 March 2021

Ungraven / Slomatics Split Release (Album Review)

Release Date: 05th March 2021. Record Label: Black Bow Records. Formats: DD/Vinyl

Ungraven / Slomatics  - Tracklisting

Ungraven - Defeat The Object

Ungraven - Onwards She Rides To A Certain Death

Ungraven - Blackened Gates Of Eterenity

Slomatics - Kaān 

Slomatics - Proto Hag

Slomatics - Monitors


Here we have the split release between Doom/Sludge Metallars Ungraven and Legendary Spaced Out Doom/Fuzz/Stoner Rockers Slomatics. Each band provides 3 tracks with Ungraven providing the heavier and darkest moments of the split record and Slomatics being 100% themselves with their trademark style of Cosmic based FUZZ heavy Doom/Stoner Metal.

Ungraven is the new project featuring Jon Paul Davis from UK Doom Metal Heavyweights CONAN who is joined by David Riley (Fudge Tunnel) and Tyler Hodges (TUSKAR). The band are perhaps influenced by 90s Sludge Metal and Groove Metal with bands such as NAILBOMB and Fudge Tunnel coming to mind. You can hear the trademark CONAN guitars from Jon but Ungraven remains its own thing. The music is dark, gloomy and with a slight industrial feel with Jon laying down some of his heaviest vocals in years especially on the excellent opening song - Defeat The Object.

Ungraven offers a varied style of Doom/Sludge Metal which is powered along by a classic undercurrent of Groove Metal which brings a faster and more chaotic approach on the 3 songs Ungraven offer with Onwards She Rides To A Certain Death perhaps being the standout track from their side. This song is very fast-paced with Ungraven offering a more “Crust Punk” type feel with this song though the band switch gears and play a faster style of music towards the end of the song.

The final song from Ungraven is one aggressive slab of Doom/Groove Metal with the band playing a violent offering with bleak lyricism to match. The bleak cinematic tone never waivers and Ungraven remain an uncompromising band of musicians playing music they want to play and taking a no hold barred approach which ultimately leaves you wanting more.

Slomatics side of the split sees the band return to the sound of their earlier albums such as A Hocht and Estron. I was expecting the guys to play a similar style of music from their last acclaimed release Canyons but it’s more akin to their earlier albums. Though, this doesn’t stop Slomatics bringing their “A” game to the party with opening song Kaān being a progressive slab of Cosmic sounds and modern Fuzz based Doom/Stoner Rock. The music moves straight into the Spaced Out Cosmos of modern day Stoner Rock/Metal with Marty’s outlandish vocals leading the way.

Proto Hag opens with Ambient/Psychedelic noises and vocals before Slomatics come in with a heavy thunderous riff which builds up at a steady slow pace. The song builds from many different levels of Distorted Fuzz, Doom, Stoner Metal which is elevated by the twisted Psychedelic narrative the band have brought to this song.

The final song Monitors is my favourite song on the entire record with Slomatics proving once again why in my humble opinion that they’re the kings of Cosmic Doom/Stoner Metal and rightfully deserve that place at the top of the table. This song is CINEMATIC in every sense of the word with slow-pounding grooves and Marty offering a different vocal perspective perhaps influenced by 70s Prog Rock and Heavy Metal. The Psychedelic guitars from Chris and David are simply breathtaking to hear and are quite different from what I would usually expect from them. 

Overall, this is a thrilling split release that showcases some of the best and finest talent the UK Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal scene has to offer. It’s an essential release not only for fans of CONAN, Slomatics, TUSKAR and Fudge Tunnel but for the entire Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal community.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to For The Lost PR for the promo. Ungraven / Slomatics split release is available to buy now on Vinyl/Digital via Black Bow Records.

Slomatics Links

Facebook | BandCamp | Official

Ungraven Links

Facebook | BandCamp