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Ridiculously Good! - 93%

IcyScythe, December 5th, 2006

Wow. First of all let me start by saying that I am not normally a heavy metal (in the sense of classic heavy metal) fan at all, or of old school, power, doom, etc... But Slough Feg just completely and utterly blew me away. In my view, this is EASILY the best heavy metal album I've ever heard (I still need to buy the rest of their discography though so I can't compare to their other albums).

From the very start you know this album is going to be something special. Churning, battle-drum like rhythm guitar starts it off and soon some airy Celtic-tinted leads come into the picture. Then the first song hits you and you'll find that you have a very, very sore neck. Riff after headbanging riff hit you hard and fast and all with great celtic leads placed carefully. The solos are also (usually) tastful and not showy or wankish (and keep in mind I am VERY picky when it comes to solos, normally I can't stand anything other than pure, lyrical melodic solos)

I'd also like to comment on the lyrics, which are excellent. You'd think that given the lyrical topic (a 70's space RPG) Traveller would be full of horribly cliched, cheezy lines but, surprisingly, it's not. In addition to being a great vocalist, Scalzi (the genious behind the band) is a brilliant poet. He's not writing incredibly deep, moving, contemplative poetry here, but rather ballad like stanzas and couplets one would expect from a classic folk poet or something similar. And he's great at it. It also helps that he delivers them with such incredible conviction. The almost absurd Vagr-dog men world sung of in this concept album really comes alive.

The rhythm section is also definitely worthy of mention. The drumming is always spot on, thankfully not drowning out the rest of the music out in any blast beats but providing some great rolling, often celtic-like rhythms (think Primordial) The bass complements the drums perfectly, and occasionally even has short little leads that interact with the guitar lines well.

Anyways, every single song on this album is fantastic, even Baltech's Lament, a calm acoustic song, with very folkish overtones. To be honest I wouldn't have expected Slough Feg to be able to stick this one in the middle of the album and get away with it, but it works, and provides a satisfying break (as if you needed one), from the metal onslaught. Every song is very triumphant in mood, and makes you want to go beat the living crap out of something (sorry, best thing I could come up with), which for me, means it's good.

In conclusion, buy this album and spread the word! This band needs to be recognized!

I haven't had this much of a blast listening to a metal album in a while.