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CVLT Nation’s Top 10 SLUDGE Releases of 2016

TEN – GNAW BONE s/t

Don’t even fucking try to put this band into a box, because they are just fucking rad! What GNAW BONE has done on their selt-titled tape is beyond amazing. GNAW BONE creates the kind of music that keeps my job exciting. Make sure to head over to Auris Apothecary and Sygil Records on so that you can pick up this underground classic!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NINE – KARCAVUL Intersaone

Generally speaking, most things suck. Your job, your band, your car, your bills…you get the idea. Luckily for all of us, our shitty existence has brief, but wonderful events scattered throughout it. With that being said, it is my pleasure to bring to you a band that is guaranteed to, at the very least, make your life bearable for one more day. Punishing all in their path, Karcavul have birthed their second offering of eardrum destruction amply titled Intersaone. While their offering of unholy carnage is only three tracks deep, Karcavul manage to unleash the same amount of sonic destruction as a benchgrinder and Marshall full-stack making sweet, sweet love. There is no time for genre elitism in these songs, as they both embody musicianship just as much as they do brutality. To combine the most provocative elements of Doom, Death, and Black metal is no small feat, and Karcavul rise to the occasion effortlessly.

Read the full review here

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EIGHT – KALLOUSED Damn You Believer

KALLOUSED‘s 2016 album works its way into your veins with each melancholy riff, and then pummels you from within like a delicious poison. Damn You Believer comforts and soothes you, only to smack you in your unsuspecting face! The CD is being released by Third I Rex and Black Reaper Records, and can be ordered here or you can get it on digital via the band here. Feast of Tentacles will be releasing the vinyl version in the very near future…stay tuned!

 

 

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SEVEN – ELEANORA Allure

The foundation of Eleanora’s style is heavily based on the doom metal field, and by extension has a sludge quality. Heavy riffs are rain down constantly in the album, with Eleanora establishing that setting through this work. The weight of “My Sceptre Sword of Vengeance” sets that mentality going, but it is not done in a single, unchanging way. The groove of the genre soon enough kicks in, especially with “Sovereign In Mind Subjected In Kind,” with the band masterfully navigating the sludge domain, and surprisingly enough, finding a way to fit in a touch of a stoner tone as well. In a more destructive manner, however, they can drop the pace, resulting in a more tormenting offering in “Menis,” or in a ritualistic scenery in “Telos.”

It is quite a trademark of the Belgian scene to infuse their doom/sludge weight with structures that tend to be found in post-metal, as well as enhancing the emotional aspect of their work with such melodies. Alongside the heavy riffs of “My Sceptre Sword of Vengeance” the band makes sure to compliment the distorted guitars with melodic lines, creating a more imposing manifestation. That mellow side is also apparent in the beginning of “Sovereign In Mind Subjected In Kind,” striking a more subtle chord with their sonic explorations, and also acquiring a progression, similar to the ones found in the works of post-metal artists.

Label: Consouling Sounds

Read the full review here

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SIX – LORD MANTIS

April, 29, 2016: The day that Lord Mantis re-emerged, crawling up from the sub-gutter, covered in a fresh coating of human waste and reeking of acidic misanthropy. This newest gospel of sludgy hatred is called Nice Teeth Whore (NTW), brought to us by a band in better shape than ever.

NTW can be thought of as the fecal matter produced following Lord Mantis’ consumption of drummer Bill Bumgardner’s other band, Indian, as they brought on long time collaborator and Indian vocalist/guitarist, Dylan O’ Toole, as the new voice of the band. Along with O’ Toole came Will Lindsay on Bass, and Scott Shellhammer rocking the guitar, alongside the old guard of Bill Bumgardner on drums and Andrew Markuszewski on guitar/backup vocals.

Read the full review here

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FIVE – BODY VOID Ruins

Review via Doomed & Stoned

Formerly known as DEVOID, BODY VOID are a San Francisco-based trio who capitalize on bleak soundscapes that mercilessly submerge the listener into what feels like a tangible world awaiting its impending doom. Ruins explores the underbelly of human experience, placing heavy emphasis on existential themes like nothingness, coping with a misunderstood existence, and coming to terms with the impartial darkness that awaits us all. Although these are subjects the band has dwelt on since their inception in 2014, Ruins does a better job of capturing the essence of these unpleasant realities than any of their previous material.

As a whole, Ruins is more about egalitarianism than anything else, but this is obscured as the lyrics focus on the negative aspects of our society that are a result of our flawed system. Zeroing in on the individual, the suffering of the one speaks for us all. In one way or another, we all suffer–no one is alone in this. At the end of Ruins, the emotive chord progression suggests a positive conclusion to a restless and aggressive album. But at the apex of this fleeting moment, we learn that even hope is an illusion: “Buried beneath all the lies is a spark of truth and a glimpse of sky,” Ryan says. “All your worth is based on lies…Can’t find truth, so I drown myself inside.“

Read the full review here

Ruins is getting a vinyl release courtesy of Dry Cough Records and Crown and Throne Ltd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOUR – ANGRY GODS The Clearing

Hey insecurities, why you fucking with me? I got your number – get ready to catch a beat down from a raging sludge bully named ANGRY GODS! This band will wreak havoc on everyone who comes in contact with them, because their songs shake you to your core! From the first time I heard these mutated aggro noise mongers, I knew they were the shit! I hate comparing newer bands to older bands, but I’m going to do it anyway. If ANGRY GODS were around in the 80’s, me and all of my homies would have been like, damn, this band needs to tour with Black Flag! Now back to the present – they have a new album entitled The Clearing released this year via Kid Sister Everything Records and Hip Kid Records...trust me, the world is going to recognize the wrath of ANGRY GODS with The Clearing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THREE – FISTULA The Shape Of Doom To Cumm)))

The sludge death dealers FISTULA‘s album The Shape Of Doom To Cumm))) came out in November via Totem Cat Records. All I can say is that this band is as fucking filthy as ever, and every song on this record reeks with their I DON’T A FUCK attitude! Now it’s time for you to hear their new song “Sabbath Wants to do a Split With Me” (David Szulkin from Blood Farmers on guitar) off of their new LP.

 

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TWO – SSOS Ezekiel’s Hags

SSOS have crowned their career with their mesmerizing and shape-shifting Relapse Records debut – Ezekiel’s Hags – an album that literally bleeds triumph through its multiple levels of cruelty and mastery. The band has always been famous for making sludge metal a highly ambiguous thing, injecting their slow and pounding rhythms and riffs with a wide range of different influences ranging from black metal, to crust, to psych rock, to drone metal, to stoner metal and beyond. In Ezekiel’s Hags, this huge array of different influences that lives within the band has come to life and blossomed in a majestic and spellbinding way, leading to the creation of one of the most diverse, seducing, and unique sludge metal albums to ever see the light of day – one that can proudly sit at the same table with the cream of crop of American sludge metal and stalwarts like Primitive Man, Graves At Sea, Yob, and the such.

Read the full review here

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ONE – FANGE Purge

Fange are one of the sickest and most fucking insanely heinous “sludge” bands coming out of Europe right now. We use the term “sludge” in quotations when talking about this band because while it’s the easiest term to use to help understand their sound, it’s also very reductive of their true nature and of the actual sheer tonnage of their power. In fact, when you sit down to listen to this debut album of theirs and the mammoth onslaught of opening track “Cour Martial” hits you, when this humongous doom beast comes galloping toward you at full speed, riding an unrelenting army of d-beats, that’s when you realize that Fange are perhaps not entirely what you thought they were, and something that goes far beyond what you can grasp. And their massive debut album Purge is essentially made up of huge headfucks like this one. It’s an authentic labyrinth of sound that you can’t navigate yourself out of for the life of you, and in which your mind gets first lost and then crushed to death.

Let’s just say that Fange’s music is built specifically to fuck with you hard, and in the most brutal way. For example, one cool thing I noticed about Purge was that the cover art is laid out to look – perhaps not intentionally – like that of Triptykon’s latest masterpiece Melana Chasmata. Now, this is an interesting thing, as the music had immediately reminded me of Triptykon as soon as “Cour Martial” kicked in and even before noticing the art. It might have been the scathing gloom coming through the music that created the link in my brain, or the saturated, discordant production quality, or that penchant for sweet riffs drowned in darkness that have made Triptykon so iconic and that now also reappear in Fange’s music that made me make this association. But I can’t help but remark how this is music driven by fathomless darkness and gloom, and if you ask these dudes if Celtic Frost and Tom Warrior were an influence on their music, I’d bet you my tail bone that it was…

Read the full review here

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Written By

Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation.

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