Released: 2008, Mighty Music/Target Distribution
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Sludge is a Swiss act who’s first EP was called SWEET DAISY, recorded in Stockholm, Sweden in 1996 at the famous Sunlight Studio by Tomas Skogsberg (who’s produced bands like Entombed, Dismember, Tiamat and The Hellacopters). The following year the band returned to the studio to record their debut album THE WELL and toured after its release. When it was time to record the next album, the band wanted it to sound more live so they recorded it in their rehearsing area. It was mixed by Fredrik Nordström in Studio Fredman and the final product was named SCARECROW MESSIAH. Xy from the Swiss act Samael was interested in the band and during the recordings Makro was also a member of Samael. 2004 saw the release of YELLOW ACID RAIN with Makro in the producer’s seat and the band signed a deal with Mighty Music. After 10 years singer Nik and bass player Picassoa decided to leave band.
Sludge is influenced by Celtic Frost, Samael, Cathedral, Entombed and Candlemass; the music is nothing but death metal mixed with symphonic black metal and a heavy dose of doom metal along with some light industrial metal parts. Lead singer Odin sings mainly with death metal vocals but screams at other parts. There are a lot of tempo changes and the music varies between very slow doom metal to fast death/black metal with many sampled parts in order to get the true industrial feeling.
It may appeal to fans of such music, but to me the music sounds like a strange fusion of too many different styles and genres. It all gets really messy and I think the band should have kept within only one genre. LAVA’s best parts are its death/black metal sections and when Odin sings in death metal vocals; the doom parts put me to sleep.
The quality of the material is really inconsistent and the album has high peaks and low lows. The highlights are “Idi Na Hui” and “60 M.M” which are fast technical death metal tunes mixed with some punk.
The two outstanding songs don’t save the album and beside the many mixes of music the weak link is the singer. The production is OK and I guess it’s what the band wants to have production-wise. LAVA doesn’t impress me at all and I really hope the band decides what kind of music they want to play in the future.