Cough, Bongripper, Asbestos Death
With a name like Sloth King this can only be one type of music… heavy, drudgery styled doom sludge. The band from Chicago, Illinois are all about creating an aura of melodic doom metal and nose to the grind sludge. To be honest we really wanted to get into this one, however the production during the heavy sludge/doom moments is horrid, therefore bringing the album rating down quite a few notches. The percussion is muffled and low-toned while the guitars are not powerful enough to create that thick sludge feeling we yearn for. The vocals are a tale of two varieties; we have the typical old school doomesque style, sounding like Cannibal Corpse on downers. Than we have a more melodic Pallbearer style, which is great contrast, so it’s safe to say they definitely mix things up. Since the doom-sludge aspect is typical and not very original, let’s focus on where the band shines… at playing melodic doom.
Each song seems to have one shining moment, for example the middle part of track two “Survivors” showcases the eloquent doom side for a brief moment. “Gray” starts out as a low budget Crowbar song, yet they inject more of this melodic metal halfway through. If they could just focus on this aspect of their talents, this could be a very moody, peaceful doom album. The title track “Monolith” is decent as the heavy sections aren’t all too bad, and we love the Celtic folk style they throw in at the last minute. “Gray Dawn” is basically all acoustic with an echoed spoken word style singing, this could be one the best cuts off the album, and it’s a great change of pace. “Burial” is another beautifully written track with its soft pleasant-sounding style; these two songs keep the heaviness at bay, which suites the band perfectly. The last song “Abyssor” is the same old sludgy mess, but there are some melodic moments within that shine.
Overall there is talent here and we would love to hear them tap more into their soft, spacious doom side. The sludgy arrangements don’t really do anything for us, we’ve heard it before. Perhaps the band is on the cusp of something great, but for now we’ll just download track five and six and call it a day. - 2/11/2016
Standout Tracks: Burial, Gray Dawn