Release Review: Slabdragger – Regress

After being impressed by Slabdragger at Colchester’s The Waiting Room, I had to check out their 2011 release Regress. An album that promised songs about “epic quests to Nepal to find killer weed, rubbish Roman Centurions, battling huge Octopian creatures and drinking rum”. With high hopes I pressed play and sat down to listen to their debut album.

What struck me the most was how all the different styles blended into each other. There were the longer doomier tracks such as ‘Iron Vulture’ and ‘Bab el-Mandeb’ and the shorter sludgier tracks like the anthemic ‘Murky Fen’ and the hilarious ‘Erroneous Maximus’. Slabdragger emulated Down on track three ‘Splice the Mainbrace’. The guitar solos easily could have been on NOLA, but then again most modern sludge and stoner bands have had influence from Down whether direct or indirect. Being sludge metal, there are of course breakdowns, the ending of ‘Murky Fen’ in particular is slightly terrifying as they shriek about ‘Subhuman mutations’, it is a fine way to end the album’s best song.

The twin piercing war cries of Sam Thredder and Yusuf Tary are truely demonic, their shrieks on ‘Murky Fen’ just blew me away. The riffs on the album are brilliant, ‘Murky Fen,’ and ‘Iron Vulture’ in particular contain brilliant riffage. The intro riff to ‘Woe Betide’ instantly calls back to Sleep’s Holy Mountain, Matt Pike would be proud. ‘Trichome Oddyssey’ is a nice end to the album, a song that is strangely relaxing and left me in a peaceful mindset as the riffs slowly faded away. Full of groove galore, I implore you to check out Regress.

With Regress, Slabdragger have produced one of the best debut sludge albums in years.

Best Tracks: ‘Erroneous Maximus’, ‘Iron Vulture’ and ‘Murky Fen’

Slabdragger Regress

1. Bab el-Mandeb
2. Erroneous Maximus
3. Splice The Mainbrace
4. Iron Vulture
5. Regression
6. Murky Fen
7. Woe Betide
8. Trichome Oddyssey

Slabdragger Band Photo

Slabdragger on Regress were:
Yusuf Tary – Bass/Vocals
Sam Thredder – Guitar/Vocals
Matt Byrne – Drums

More Slabdragger:

About Jack (874 Articles)
I am a recent graduate from the University of Essex in Colchester where by the luck of Odin I met the editor, Dom. I first got into metal when I was 13 and now I am 22 and own an uncountable amount of band T-shirts. I also regularly attend gigs (local and in neighbouring areas) as well as festivals. My musical taste is varied; I like nu metal (my first love), thrash, black, death, doom, folk, sludge (my favourite genre), symphonic and many more of the multiple genres that metal has to offer, I even like some metalcore (I know it's a dirty word within some metal circles but some of it is outstanding). One of my most memorable metal moments was meeting Grand Magus at the Bloodstock signing tent and having the whole tent to myself, spending a few minutes talking to them.

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