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Sludge Doesn't Get Any Better - 100%

stopgodestroy, September 30th, 2010

This is the apex of Oakland sludge metal. So heavy, so many amazing riffs, and not one wasted second on an overly repetitive theme, or a too-slow dirge that tests the patience of the listener. Imagine the swampy Sabbath worshiping riffs of Eyehategod, Grief and Thirteen, and cut out all the fat, almost all the slow parts, throw in some Autopsy for that bay area flavor, season liberally with some paint peeling vocals and bring to a relentless, steamy Brain-Boil. That's the recipe. Mid-tempo to fast, exciting, catchy sludge? Is this even possible? In Brainoil's world it is. All seven songs are under four minutes, and contain a barrage of crushing riffs, each slamming outwards and assaulting your senses like a giant hash hammer. Before you know it, the song's over, there's a half second pause, and the next avalanche comes rumbling through the door. You're knocked back off your feet before you can even get up.

All in all, a totally cohesive release, seven tidy songs, the crushing production that they deserved on their earlier releases, but didn't get. Greg Wilkinson has excellently fuzzy, distorted mid range bass tone, and Nate Smith has graduated from his crust roots, playing a guitar that can mimic the low end tones of the bass to bowel shattering effect, or nimbly dance over the top of the miasma with leads. Ira's drums are strong in the mix, and the playing is solid and economic with not a hit wasted. I wonder if that guy even knows how to play softly? The massive guitars are complimented by the drum mix, with the snare cutting through everything almost like a hammer on an anvil. The best way to experience this record, in my opinion, is on the 45rpm twelve inch vinyl, where the well mixed bass tones really jump out. And after you've listened to this record a few hundred times and burn through a few pounds of White Widow, try spinning the platter at 33rpm for an especially heavy and slow, mind bending experience. While you listen and your senses fade into oblivion, pick up the sleeve and stare at Judd Hawk's mysterious album cover.

The band maintains consistent musical quality throughout, and though stylistically unified, the songs avoid being formulaic. Shining examples include the simple drum intro to Complete?/Lucid Vision, which for several seconds foreshadow the mammoth size riff that follows. I get shivers when I hear this! Still! Years later! There's another crucial moment at the beginning of Inquisition. Some middle eastern flavored guitars that give you an all too brief interlude in a hashish smoke filled antechamber before the pile driving riff monsters return. Fuck yeah! I have often tried to decide which song is my favorite, and I can't. They're all my favorite! The only thing not perfect about this album is that is comes to an end, and I have have to put down the bong, get up off the couch and flip it again.

Whoa... Talk about unappreciated. - 100%

Lysergix, November 30th, 2006

Let's make this short and sweet, Brainoil are a hidden gem.

This album is only 20minutes long. Why do I mention it, sounds rather short for a sludge album doesnt it (or most albums anyway)? Brainoil are in a hardcore band in that sense, length and speed. And also just happen to be abit MC5 playing with Black Sabbath tuning with Mike Williams on the vox. Well, kinda.. (without the whole "Garage" rock shit) Just imagine EyehateGod fast paced ALL THE TIME, with sick bluesy grooves and solos and nice thrashy parts. Excellent song writing talent, nice drum fills and good old symbol crashing.

This feels almost too up-tempo to even be Sludge, makes you wanna smash a whiskey bottle over the guy next to you and shit/piss (whichever) on his face just for the kicks. There is a strong Rock'n'Roll vibe to the entire record. Sure the vocalist sounds like he just got ass-raped and is pretty damn angry about it. Hell, I have no idea where the lyrics are about atall anyway.

Either way, this is good fun shit, and if you like EyeHateGod you're sure to love this, even if you're abit freaked out by the fact none of the songs start with long waverings of sonic feedback. And ofcourse the memorable riffage. Sweet.

Sadly this band get overlooked for alot of shit which isnt half as good (Moho/Hawg Jaw/Ultralord not they are bad.. just no where as good as this one album.)