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Like a sucker-punch from out of nowhere... - 93%

RipVelcro, March 14th, 2013

When speaking of doom metal, or even metal in general, Russia is probably one of the last geographical locations that comes to mind. In fact, I would bet that most people outside of said county couldn't name one Russian band, even if their lives depended on it. Hell, up until a couple of weeks ago, I wouldn't have been able to either. That being said, I recently stumbled upon this hidden gem via youtube (where the entire album is up for stream).

The lumbering, over-distorted fuzz-tone riff of the first song, alone, would be enough to grab the attention of most Cough or Electric Wizard fans. Definitely not a carbon-copy, but still not too stylistically off, and as the bong-filled haze progresses, it's quite obvious that Without God have completely forsaken any type of flashy instrumentation in favor of solid, memorable songwriting skill. Also, the roughly sang, English vocals compliment the music fairly well, as opposed to the shouts or growls that some bands opt for these days.

By around mid-album, the 12 minute "Crossroads/Eat the Shit" really shows off what this band is capable of, shifting from minimalist, semi-acoustic interlude into a pummeling beast while not giving up any of the spacious melody that most stoner rock bands exude. The rest of the album is no slouch either. Obvious Black Sabbath and Crowbar influence are also definitely a factor in the overall sound and feel, especially on certain tracks, but not enough to detract from the band's identity.

While I can't say that Lambs to the Slaughter is completely flawless, the production is very good and fitting of the sludgier spectrum. Not overproduced, but not sounding like it was recorded in the bottom of a swimming pool, with an 80's boombox. The only complaint I have is the couple of spots where I can totally tell the guitar parts were overdubbed. Other than that, this is a fine example of what a sludge/doom/stoner metal album should sound like. Slow, heavy, melodic, and raw.

Bottom line, Without God probably won't convert anyone who isn't already into the genre, but they more than make up for it when it comes down to composing an album full of crushing material, devoid of filler.