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Monday, November 4, 2013

LP Review "Scabrous" by Sea Bastard


Sea Bastard from Brighton UK are a doom/sludge quartet who have previously been reviewed on Heavy Planet by the more than capable sludge covered hands of Trash Boat and his Sunday Sludge for their S/T album released a year ago. Since then Sea Bastard have released a live EP entitled "Great Barrier Riff" back in June and they now return with "Scabrous" which was recently released on the blackest day of all, Halloween.

"Scabrous" contains 4 tracks of the bleakest of doom and sludge. It is cold, violent and horrifying and it continues in the same face shredding doom vibrations as their previous output. This is doom and sludge to chew on a rock to, feeling the enamel of your teeth splinter and shatter with every crushing black riff that enters your ears in relentless waves of horrific spite.

The violent pummeling begins with "Nokken", a 17+ minute disgustingly heavy heaving of the blackest of sludged riffs that fall relentlessly upon you with vocals that are at first as bone staining black as the riffs are but soon turn to the wild screeching howls of a hell-spawned mad creature which serves only to twist the doom knife further into your bewildered and petrified face. There are no let ups here. Expect no twee breathers or dark atmospheric ambiance to give some little relief from the onslaught of horrifying doom. The riffs, the vocals, the drum smacks, they keep falling on you, dishing out punishing swathes of obsidian spite the further into the track you go. The final section has the track pick up pace with an unleashing of filthy and distorted guitar seizures and a revolving sludge riff that makes this track darkly psychedelic, like having an heroic dose of 5 dried grams of shrooms only to find yourself trapped in an asylum surrounded by the worst psychopaths known to the human race, and you are their prey, their meal.

The nightmare continues with "Nightmares of the Monolith" that comes in a tumble of urgent riffs and growling vocals that spit pure black venom in a celebratory call to those that dwell deep within the deepest recesses of the doom abyss. Again, there is no time to breath as the sludge consumes you without hesitation as you drown in the blackest pool with the hands of the doom abyss dwellers grabbing you by the ankles and they pull you down and down and down.

From the death of the previous track rises the amusingly named "Door Sniffer" with smouldering feedback, bulbous and crunchy bass chugs and tight incendiary drumming that seems to eke out the promised onslaught of black sludge that inevitably lurches into your already broken brain. This is the shortest of the 4 tracks on this LP running at only 8 minutes and 8 seconds and despite its ever so slightly less bleak than its predecessors' moments in doom, the track devolves and sinks into some of the sickest and blackest bleakness and downright fucking skull-splittingly amazing sludge/doom metal that I have yet heard. Simply put; it slays.

Finally there is the 20:22 track "Metamorphic Possession" with a wobbly twang of hopelessness that brings in a big bluesy bass line that jams along with sparse drumming which makes this short moment in "Scabrous" by far the lightest but soon enough the huge crushing riffs and anguished gravelly howls and pounding drums are bashed out in a merciless battering of violent doom. The track lumbers forward, taking mountainous steps that build to devastating explosions of doom and sludge. The track evolves and morphs and twists its riffs to wring out the thickest and blackest of sludge as it descends ever lower into the black pit of doom.
At the half way point the track decays into seething feedback and we hear the return of the jammed out bass line and the tight but erratic drumming that we heard in the intro. This is only a brief respite before the sludge returns with a gradual slowing and desecration of the riffs that turns the track into a slothenly filthy beast that wallows in a putrid quagmire of frothing sludge until the desecration rots the track down into piercing black feedback.

If you already know Sea Bastard and you are familiar with their wholly negative and violent take on doom and sludge metal then you will know all about the crushing punishment that is on offer with "Scabrous". If you are not yet aware then please prepare yourself by first emptying your bowels pre-listen, hold onto something that makes you feel secure like your childhood teddy bear and then proceed to suck your thumb and tremble and weep with hopeless terror at Sea Bastards relentless and intimidating black riff power.

Hear it, buy it, download it, shit yourself and become spiritually tainted forever now at their Bandcamp where the album is very kindly offered as a name your own price download. Be kind in return.

                       BANDCAMP // FACEBOOK


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