Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2022
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Slomatics > Flooding the Weir > Reviews
Slomatics - Flooding the Weir

A straightforward hardcore sludge doom affair - 77%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, August 14th, 2017

The first album by Slomatics - by the number of reviews I've been doing of their work, I'm sure readers can tell these guys are becoming one of my favourite bands - "Flooding the Weir" is a fairly straightforward affair by later Slomatics standards. The sound seems more hardcore and hard-edged, and less gravelly, though when these fellers want to go slow, they'll go as slooooowly as they possibly can before becoming completely immobile. Song structures are more basic, based around repeating riffs, and at this point in the band's career, the sci-fi / fantasy angle to the music is not yet clear though on the front cover the art work might suggest a Ballardian (as JG Ballard) inspiration.

Second track "Running Battle" really showcases the band in its early glory, with several riffs repeating over and over and spilling from one to the next to create an unfolding, meandering track that gives the impression of having something else up its sleeve while ruminating through the current riff loops. The grinding, bristling motorcycle sound is heavy (but not too heavy) and hardcore sludge enough, and while the percussion seems fairly light, it suits the music and does not compete with it. The glacially paced "The Technique" has plenty of space in-between chords for listeners to savour those abrasive tonal textures. Even though it moves at the speed of a tranquillised snail, the track has grace and majesty, even when about one-third of the way through the music moves into more solemn, slightly darker and more broody psych doom. Lead guitar solo provides an airy flowing counterpoint to the doom trudge-a-thon.

The rest of the album consists of three relatively short tracks with "Celeste" turning out to be something of a relaxing breather after a couple of long tracks and before a more meaty, crunchy piece ("March of the 1,000 Volt Ghost"). This is one of three tracks to feature vocals, if you can notice them: they're very far off in the distance and so thin they risk being swept away by the grinding music. Singing has never been Slomatics' strong point and sometimes I wish they'd drop the shouty hardcore approach and try something altogether different.

This is a good album and anyone wanting to explore Slomatics' style and how it has changed over the years would do well to start with "Flooding the Weir" and keep going in more or less chronological order. I'd have liked the songs to be shuffled a bit differently so that the two long tracks are separated by shorter pieces instead of being bunched up in the album's first half. There's a big temptation for listeners to just stick with the long tracks and not bother with the rest of the album: the short tracks do tend to sound like open-ended exercises in riffing and not much like self-contained pieces.