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Band's list Sludge Metal The Great Sabatini Matterhorn
CD, Released date : 25 March 2012 - No List Records
Style: Sludge Metal

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RATING : 16/20
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Tracklist
1. City Limits 03:14
2. Zakios 03:36
3. Hidden Door 02:17
4. Null and Void 04:14
5. Wagons 05:12
6. Sad Parade of Yesterdays 09:59
Total Playing Time 28:32

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1 ratings 1 16/20
Review
16 / 20
    InfinityZero, Saturday 30 June 2012 Talk to your friends  
If you are a fan of Acid Bath or Cathedral you will more than likely find something worth your time here.

Gritty, gravelly sludge spews from my speakers as I start the album. This guitar tone is full of rust and dirt, like Sunn O))) on fuzz pedals. Only instead, the sonic assault is rapid like the fire of artillery, with drums hammering away like machine gun fire. City Limits—the first track of The Great Sabatini’s third album Matterhorn—very well introduces the band to their sound and style. Riffs simple in melody but powerful in their execution, where a simple shift from fast to slow can create varied sonic landscapes. Screamed, hoarse vocals reminiscent of most metalcore bands can be heard through a layer of fuzz as the listener is pummeled with bass and guitar and drum. Little, unfortunately, can be said about the band’s song structure, as most of the songs here present about three patters and alternate between them as the mostly-short songs run their time. Aside from this, Matterhorn’s primal and beastly tone really elevates the music to something interesting, making the songs here perfect for the mosh pit crowd.
As the album progresses, the band incorporates more of a groove into their sludgy guitar riffs, as the next song’s slow-burning opening riff proves, as it melds and transforms and varies little by little over the course of the song, returning for brief periods to a chugging chorus riff (a little boring). At least there is a long, slow solo to enjoy here amongst it all. The latter section of this song seems to open wide and suck in the listener with long-sustained droning notes and amp feedback that carries to the end of the song.
A dreamlike, surreal semi-instrumental follows, with softly-chanted female vocals, as disembodied fragments of saxophone notes and clean-played guitar chords echo with other strange noises bouncing off each other. It’s a good break for the album, and definitely helps bring dimension to what could have been a non-stop break of meaty sludge-doom.
The album picks up again and returns to sludgy goodness, and each new song on the six-track album brings more to my attention. The riffs vary well and tempo changes are frequent, and interesting interludes and intros are also utilized. The metalcore-ish vocals tend to get on my nerves a bit (I think either a cleaner voice or a deep growl might fit the music better), but overall this is quite a competent piece of doom. Most of the riffs are mid-paced, and the occasional bursts of hammering speed and slow gradual moments help round out the music more. Unfortunately the final two songs before the ten-minute finale are a tad on the repetitive side, going between two or three riffs for five minutes without really leading anywhere or doing anything big.
…Which is why the final song, Sad Parade of Yesterdays, is such a refresher. Having a run-time one second short of ten minutes, its length allows the band to try a lot more in terms of experimentation and structure and the song is easily a highlight of the album. A clean guitar lays down the first riff to be accompanied gradually by a distorted, muddy guitar that weaves through many melodies as drum and bass kicks in also. It almost sounds like a slowed down song by Agalloch or another shoegaze band, except the sludgy tone is still present. The slow riff drops off into heaviness without much subtlety or natural progression, but that’s not too bad for the song, as the riff is one that sounds like a builder, or a teaser for something bigger soon to come. Unfortunately the band doesn’t quite use this tension to its advantage and instead after a while of verses overtop of this riff they revert back to a variant of the original melody. However, the song does delve into some full-blown drone for a few minutes while the drums whirl and kick in the background, which provides for some really interesting listening. The absence of the metalcore vocals here is also much appreciated. I find that this final song does the best job of defining the band as individuals in the sludge genre as they incorporate basic melodious clean guitars as well as drawn-out drone in one song without faltering. I think if this band were to take more of an advantage of buildups and songs that do not conform to basic verse-chorus-verse-chorus patterns, they would fit better into their own genre and allow their songs more room to breathe.
Generally, aside from the aforementioned grievances I have with the latter tracks being a bit too repetitive, this is a very good album with notable songs on it. Zacios and Sad Parade of Yesterdays are my two favourite tracks here, despite the latter giving me a slight feeling of anticlimax. If you are a fan of Acid Bath or Cathedral you will more than likely find something worth your time here.





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