Sunday 4 December 2022

Shallow Black - Maladroit Matter (Album Review)


Release Date: 30th November 2022. Record Label: Self Released. Formats: DD

Maladroit Matter: Tracklisting

1.Some of the Old Songs, Sam 03:16

2.Digital Bath 04:08

3.I Feel You 04:39

4.Closure 05:45

5.Venus Blue 04:24

6. To Bring You My Love 05:09

7.I am the Moth 07:16


Erik Bigelow - Everything


Shallow Black returns with another album with Maladroit Matter. This one is a different album compared to the other releases that Shallow Black has offered so far. This album features two original songs (Some Of The Old Songs, Sam and I Am The Moth) and five covers from bands such as Acid Bath, Chevelle, Deftones, Depeche Mode and PJ Harvey. 

Maladroit Matter is the usual mix of Industrial Metal, Doom Metal, Sludge Metal and gloomy Heavy Metal grooves being added to the mix. The two original songs are what we come to expect from Erik under his Shallow Black persona. Gloomy down-tuned industrial sounds forged with a Doom/Sludge Metal mentality with a dark twisted vibe behind them both especially on Some Of The Old Songs, Sam that opens the album in superbly entertaining fashion. 

I loved the slow-pace nature of the song which allows Erik to show a more Drone style of music that I haven’t heard from him before and it’s a cool sound with a solitary feeling from the song.

The next five tracks is Shallow Black doing his own take on the following tracks

Digital Bath - Deftones

I Feel You - Depeche Mode

Closure - Chevelle

Venus Blue - Acid Bath

To Bring You My Love - PJ Harvey

All these are fantastic covers though I wasn’t fully sold on Digital Bath the first time I heard it. As it doesn’t stray too far from the original but after repeated listens, I noticed the little things in the background such as Post-Doom sounds being added which allows it to be one of the strongest covers on the album.

Shallow Black offers a more reflective and Industrial take on these tracks especially on I Feel You, Venus Blue and To Bring You Love. 

It’s great to see Crystal Bigelow from EMBR make an impressive vocal appearance on Closure. I am not really a fan of Chevelle, but this is a great track for Erik and Crystal to show off their musical talents once again.

Maladroit Matter has a quality LOFI and DIY feel to it all and allows Shallow Black to explore many different sides we haven’t heard from them before. I applaud Erik for doing something different and being one of the most interesting and exciting solo artists currently within the Doom/Sludge Metal underground scene.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe


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