Slabdragger return with a truly monolithic new release in the form of Rise of the Dawncrusher. With songs upwards of fifteen minutes, this release takes you through a journey of not just the concept, but heavy music itself. Strap yourselves in and hold on tight, this is a long album.
First up is the aptly titled “Mercenary Blues”. What is immediately apparent from this, and the other longer songs on the album, is that there are different movements within, that serve as several shorter songs within longer pieces. Slabdragger use this to great effect, without there being any awkward pauses, telling a more coherent story.
“Mercenary Blues” certainly is bluesy, but the heavy distortion and laid back tempo of this opening track really gives a good sense of how Slabdragger prefer their blues; the dirtier the better. Heavy as hell and with crushing drums, this track is a great opener.
On the whole this album is incredibly enjoyable. However, the next two tracks (for me at least) are lower points. “Evacuate!” seems a little shoehorned into the album, as if Slabdragger purposely wrote it to be a single, while “Shrine of Debauchery” is a little too drone metal for my tastes. It isn’t a bad song, but I was left wanting in a way.
On the other hand, “Dawncrusher
“Implosion Rites” is the last (and longest) track on Rise of the Dawncrusher, and is a suitable reward for the length of the album up until this point. As I said this is a long album, but it doesn’t feel that way. Every song brings its own character to the table to take you on a journey through Slabdraggers music and ideas that rewards repeat listens. I also like the use of effects to create something of a space age nuance.
Slabdragger have taken a lot of interesting ideas and melded them together with Rise of the Dawncrusher. By piecing together lots of shorter riffs into longer tracks they really give a better impression of a concept. Heavy as the Dawncrusher itself and a must own for heavy sludge fans.
Rise of the Dawncrusher was released
Rise of the Dawncrusher track listing:
Sam Thredder – Guitar/Grunts
Yusuf Tary – Bass/Shrieks
Jack Newnham – Drums/G-Ride