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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday Sludge: Mudbath - "Red Desert Orgy"


Sometimes I worry that I love sludge metal band names as much as I love the music itself. But some bands take a step further and actually use their name as a descriptor of their sound. Avignon, France's Mudbath have done just that. "Blackened Sludge-Doom" must've already been taken, so the band chose the next best thing. Mudbath actually sound as filthy, coarse, and incautious as an off-the-cuff dip in a thick bog. Well, today's Sunday Sludge says fuck it; jump right in.

Churlish and unforgiving, Mudbath inject their down-tempo plods with scorching, electric reverb and a tension that you won't want lifted. On Red Desert Orgy, these cinq hommes purge three thick servings of cavernous indulgence on a slow trip to hell. And for as low as it crawls, the sound has plenty of hands pulling you into sharp, surprising turns.

Many of those turns come in the form of incendiary, ambitious guitars. Loserwood sets out with rolling, churning evil delivered at an agonizing clip. The licks may leave you wondering who's watching you, but the dense atmosphere will steal your breath before you even notice. Vocals echo "Dixie" Dave Collins, and the burning, bearded buzz throughout this opener continually nods to the fore-bearers of doom metal.

That old-school doom groove becomes a slow-dragged perversion on Mudjahideen. Dual vocals pit preaching judgments against screeching-swamp assertions, while the rhythmic plod is a sharp twig repeatedly thrust high and hard. The sinuous fibers drip with gravity until the track slows and staggers to a tempo shift. Before this is over, Mudbath warp through themselves and let loose just a bit. But that sticky sludge sweetness returns as Fèlix brags of selling his soul to the devil.

Smells Like Teen Cunt is as abrasive as you'd imagine. This eight-minute bookend reboots the electric, dissentious guitar, which confronts head on the hopeless mood. Remaining deliberate and disenchanted, the rhythm lays down and effectively clears a path for low-hovering licks. A long passage of clean(ish) instrumentation ensues before the sludge-drag rolls toward its undoing. The ultimate swell of chaos is something to behold, coming from every direction like the onset of death and disease.

Red Desert Orgy is brief and promising, giving listeners a reason to keep a watchful eye on Mudbath for future releases. When they're not wallowing in shit, they're slinging it skyward. The elements merge to craft a darkened, fuzzy air that won't help you ditch your paranoia, and the rhythmic surprises are delivered with precision and excellent timing. I guess if you're gonna get dirty, own it. And if you're gonna corrupt others, at least they've been warned.

Members:

Fèlix - Vocals, Percussion
Mika - Guitars
Flo - Guitars
Marco - Bass
Luke - Drums



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