Produced by Makro. Mixed by Serge Morattel at recstudio Geneva. Mastered by Alan Douches at Wet West side music. Lava was recorded at studio Roystones, guitars, bass and vox at studio des Anges. Cover artwork and design by PUD / Second Skin. Info news and contact www.sludge.ch.
The first thing to note about this album is that it sounds absolutely terrible… in the car. I listen to a lot of the albums on this 195 metal CDs project in my car during my 20-25 minutes’ commute. But this album was mostly unlistenable: the guitar, bass and drum frequencies pretty much matched the frequencies of the road rumbling beneath my wheels, and the wind whistling beneath the roof box (yes, we’re that cool!). So I listened to this album mostly on headphones, at work, at home, in bed.
The second thing to note is that despite the name, Sludge do not play sludge metal. Theirs is a balanced blend of death and doom: doomth metal.
The third thing to note is that I loved this album. Some albums I have to force myself to listen to a second time, to make sure that I didn’t miss anything. I’ve more or less had this album on repeat play for the last week and a half.
Musically, Sludge reminds me of a twisted fusion of Meshuggah, Godflesh, Napalm Death and ‘Monotheist’-era (fellow Swiss) Celtic Frost. The music is heavy, like molten rock being expelled from a volcano, and like lava is seems to flow where it likes. This is progressive doomth metal.
Even though I’ve barely listened to anything else in the last 10 days, I still don’t know the songs. They still surprise me. They are like a stream of metal conscience.
This is Sludge‘s fourth full-length album. I’m in two minds about wanting to hear the previous three. I like this album so much that there is a chance that the others may disappoint. What if this is the pinnacle of the volcano? I’ll chance it… this is so good.
I doubt I would ever have come across Sludge had it not been for this project. It’s these kind of gems that I have looked forward to uncovering as I gradually play my way through this mountain of metal. Right now, I’m glad to be cascading down the side of the mountain in this river of lava.
This review is a couple of days late. I didn’t want this week to end, to be honest. Like when you’re coming to the end of a novel and you eke out the last few pages just so that you can stay with the characters for a bit longer.
This album is going to stay close to my playlist for some time. I can’t give it anything less than 100%.
Review score: 100%