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Slab - Betray The Past..Infect The Future

Having just reviewed them live, and off to see them again tonight, thought it might be an idea to get round to playing the CD.

  1. Vi Vi Vi starts things off, a short industrial stark instrumental.
  2. Chaos Bastard. Bass intro unleashes into the main riff via a blood curdling scream. This riff is an absolute classic and propels the song along in blistering fashion. Loads of tempo changes and great dynamics throughout, brutal yet also intricately layered. Vocals are suitably angry but also (relatively) understandable, musicianship is flawless. Production is clear too. Awesome start.
  3. Facebreak. Quiet opening with great bass sound. Builds steadily throughout opening vocal section with an underlying feeling of menace and impending carnage. Doesn't disappoint; the chorus unleashes ferociously. Tempo changes galore follow in a superbly structured and delicately handled track. Sounds very raw, engineers have really earned their keep on this one.
  4. Bury My Dog. Think this band like understated openings! Reminded me of the Sisters Of Mercy initially before the main riff explodes savagely.After a bass led refrain there are tempo changes galore, all dealt with subtly. The drum patterns seem to be constantly changing as the emphasis switches from bass to guitar and back again. Closest I can get to summing up the overall feel of this one is hardcore meets Led Zeppelin with screamed vocals!
  5. Yi ZI Er Shi. Slower track in general, again has a Sisters Of Mercy feel. Can't add much to what I've said on previous tracks. Great dynamics, very complex structure is performed effortlessly. Draws influences from many different styles and fuses them exceptionally well; another quality track.
  6. Cogumelo Blue. Very laid back opening reminiscent of The Cure. Another superb blend of delicacy and brutality thereafter.
  7. Vines. Quicker track from the off with immense opening riff. My favourite track of the album so far (that's saying something as Chaos Bastard is an absolute belter) lots of ideas are again fused skillfully. There are more riffs on this track alone than some bands manage in a career.
  8. Conspiracy. Another understated opening leads into a Zeppelin-feel killer riff. A quieter, delicate section follows with spoken vocals before the onslaught continues once more. Feedback outro works well. Stylish track.
  9. Devilwalk. First true riff is almost monolithic doom, very stripped down. Then the complexity kicks in once more. Minimalist/industrial closing section concludes a superb song, again a strong contender for track of the album.
  10. Extinction Forums. Not much to add to previous comments. Strange choice for an album closer as I found it probably the weakest track of the bunch. Then the closing section kicks in! Incredible complexity once more. Outro doesn't work for me, but this is probably one of the few negatives I can think of of the album in general.
Like this album a lot. Loads of different styles and influences are brought together stylishly. One of the best albums I have heard for ages, simple as that. The wife rates it highly too, which is unusual as her tastes (musically!) are nowhere near as extreme as mine. If musical ability and song writing prowess alone sold albums this would be up near the top of the pile for a long time. Equally good live too. This album will feature prominently on my playlist for a while I think!!

 

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