Call it a departure or call it a cop-out. I'm elbow-deep in sludge metal of every breed. I can't stand upright to start the day without buzzing on an email notification offering a promo, a demo, a sample, a compilation. Thermometers registered around 7°F this morning, so I couldn't care less about a cluttered garage and a low tire. My intent remains to give an honest tug to every great sludge release offering a sniff, but there's so much of it. I'm gonna leave behind the self-indulgent bookends and do my best to limit all the colorful descriptors. Here are just a few sludge releases I'm thankful for in recent weeks:
Loose, noisy sludge from upstate New York. There's a snark in every note, and the dirty South drags us by the hair on violent choral singalongs and groove-thump rhythms. Hitting hard and spitting fast, the struggle to stay warm is no struggle at all. Not to worry, though... Bungler deliver a formula that'll still leave you a tad unsettled.
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Tidal Arms - Tidal Arms
Haunting behind a veiled vocal and incredibly flooring progressions, Tidal Arms present a crunch commonly absent on post-metal. Let in the dark beauty of Mirrorbox or stagger under tempo shifts throughout these ten tracks. Spanning between technical and ethereal, this one's got something for everyone and everything for someone. You.
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Rising - Abominor
A follow-up to 2011's To Solemn Ash, Abominor is heavy on crusted thrash and sand-spitting vocals. More uptempo than its predecessor, there's still no shortage of rolling thunder and underbelly groove. Throughout the trot between these nine tracks is a sooty spray that'll leave you scrubbing your nails. Oh, these Danes burn like fire.
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Black Skies - Circadian Meditations
Two years ago, I fell in love with Black Skies and their dark, swirling, churning On The Wings Of Time. Here they expand their cosmos and stretch their scope, burning six tracks of collective sludge psychedelia. Laid low and aimed high, Circadian Meditations is a tautological mind warp hovering somewhere just out of reach. Crawl through their catalog and broaden your senses.