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Slomatics > A Hocht > Reviews
Slomatics - A Hocht

Very obvious bandnames 4.1: If you don't like talking - 48%

gasmask_colostomy, December 5th, 2019

Although the title of A Hocht marks (in Gaelic) this Irish trio’s eighth release and eighth year together with 8 songs, I don’t feel like that experience truly shines through for Slomatics. Perhaps an odd line-up confuses issues, since on first listen I thought that I heard chunky bass nestling in the sludgy grooves here, but no such instrumentalist seems to have taken part on the album, low fuzzy tone notwithstanding. Not that the riffing isn’t enjoyable, but that irregularity seems to make some of the songs lose focus, not helped by a weak vocal presence that pushes Marty’s throaty shouts behind everything else, not to mention 3 instrumental tracks.

As for the way the music develops, I have struggled to get to grips with individual cuts. It seems that the fuzz was more important than the riffs on some occasions, the ugliness of sludge being quite attractive for Slomatics, so that the whole experience feels like an evangelical preacher is howling through some super-doomy static on an old TV set, especially when ‘Flame On’ gets dramatic. Not that it helps when I’m listening on headphones in a quiet environment, but I bet this would shake the whole fucking room when it’s coming through the amps. However, that’s not enough to hold onto, since the riffs tend to be monotonous and slightly unfocused, going through slow cycles that I’ve heard from Ufomammut and Electric Wizard, just trippier or more face-meltingly charged. A Hocht varies little and doesn’t manage to leave its mark.

Some plus points of the album include the organ that shows up on ‘Tramontane’, conjuring a spooky vibe not otherwise noticeable and thrilling through the thick distortion, plus the nice atmospheres generated by ‘Inner Space’ and ‘Outer Space’, two brief tracks that bookend the album. However, it’s a shame that more doesn’t sit between those bookends, only 4 fully fleshed out songs appearing before the band call it a day early and play the contemplative clean instrumental ‘Blackwood’, then the boring instrumental ‘Theme from Remora’, then the outro. With all the instrumentals and distant vocals, plus the overwhelming distortion from the guitars, I suppose A Hocht might be alright for people who don’t like talking. Nevertheless, that’s really not much of a compliment, and it’s no more than the album deserves.