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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Review: Slabdragger - Rise Of The Dawncrusher


Since I have recently discovered their first album “Regress” I developed a small obsession with these guys. Listening to the album every day when on my way to school. I would even listen when I went to bed. Obviously, I was psyched out of my mind when I heard Slabdragger would release their 2nd album called “Rise Of The Dawncrusher” in a very short time. Now the time has finally come.

“Rise Of The Dawncrusher” was released by Holy Roar Records and has a runtime of a whopping 61 minutes. You would say that it is not that long of a runtime but think again mister. These 61 minutes are divided over only 5 tracks. That in its turn means every track has a general length of round and about 11/12 minutes. The first thing that came to mind was; are they going to use this time efficiently and keep the songs interesting?

After spinning this record over and over and over I couldn’t find a boring bit in none of the tracks. I must say Slabdragger succeeded making an album that is long, slow sometimes monotonous and still keeping it interesting with slight changes in atmosphere or riffs. Never a moment have I felt the urge to think wow, this riff could have been made so much shorter or it could have been repeated a little less?

Starting with “Mercenary Blues”. Mercenary Blues starts off with a riff that will stick with you for days. Slabdragger even intensifies that by repeating it over and over again while otherworldly screams are grinding over the slow, fuzzy riff. When reaching the end of the song it perfectly loops into the first single of the album called “Evacuate!”. If I had to choose which song isn’t ‘necessary’ it would be this song. Don’t get me wrong I love the track just as much as I love the others but “Evacuate!” feels like the odd one out. The 5th wheel on a wagon. Maybe it is the speed of the song or the runtime. I cannot decide.

I have got to give this song the props for rolling into “Shrine Of Debauchery” so fluently.

“Shrine of Debauchery” starts of with a very daunting drum march. It sets the mood right from the start. Progressing further into the song we will encounter some of the fuzziest sounding guitars you ever heard. The first lines of lyrics in this song blast your scalp in half with an alien-like screech. Overall it’s an eerily haunting song overall. Very doomy.

Progressing into the last 2 songs on the record the mood does not change. “Dawncrusher rising” delivers a powerful blow to the chest with amazing song structure and build-ups throughout. After “Dawncrusher Rising” comes “Implosion Rites” which is my favorite song on the album. This song is also the longest track by Slabdragger to date. The best part about this song is the diversity in heaviness. The first minutes are repeating this amazing riff that will stick with you just as long as “mercenary blues” does. The strength in this song lies in the repetition. Slabdragger repeats a riff for such a long time you slip into a near hallucinating state. Making it memorable. Just before you start to think hey, it’s time for a new riff they have already started something new. Always just in time to keep things interesting. At the 7 minute mark a new riff kicks in that is so ball-crushing heavy it will make you scream for your mommy while the blood in your eyes is boiling so red you have to explain to your mom you’re not stoned at all you are just listening to the new record by Slabdragger. When this song progression ends it falls back to the first riff. While lasting it out into a very clever, wailing end.

This album will go down in doom/stoner metal history for its inventiveness. Not trying to copy Electric Wizard but instead make something that is clearly “Slabdragger”

Slabdragger is the band your mom doesn’t want you to listen to for medical purposes.

Slabdragger is the glue between your eyes at night when you are going to sleep.

Slabdragger is the smoke you inhale even when you don’t smoke.

Rise Of The Dawncrusher will mark my first 10/10 for DutchMetalManiac.
It is the first album worthy of this title and I hope we will hear a lot more from Slabdragger.

Written by Joost van der Leij

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