Released: 2014, Consouling Sounds
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
2014 seems to be turning into the year of the mollusc when it comes to doom metal. We’ve already had the excellent ‘Gastronomicon’ from Lincolnshire two-piece Slugdge and now joining them are fellow salt-haters Snailking. And fans of slow, mournful, crushingly dense metal will love them. There may only be five tracks, but this album is still nearly an hour long and they take nearly as long to get to the point as the slimy little critters they’re named after.
‘To Wonder’ for example is classic doom. Starting off with a riff heavy enough to shake the very ground beneath your feet, it soon turns into a bleak instrumental passage so minimalist it could have been lifted from a post-rock album. After a brief moment the riffs return and while it continues to build layer by layer, the pace never increases, if anything it only seems to get slower. It’s a droning, hypnotic opener and is almost perfectly designed for nights spent reading Lovecraft while the rain lashes furiously at the outside world.
‘Premonitions’ doesn’t raise the tempo either and is another ten minutes of damp, rain-sodden misery, tailor made to be the soundtrack to shovelling dirt onto the coffin of some wretch who died alone. On any other record, ‘Slithering’ would be a mournful, downbeat number but following on the heels of two such rambling odes to despair, it’s almost a blessed relief. It still moves about as quickly as a pensioner with two broken legs and some very heavy shopping though so don’t expect this one to become a dance floor favourite any time in the future.
Business doesn’t pick up for ‘Requiem’ or ‘Void’ either and by the time ‘Storm’ draws to a close, it feels like an eternity has passed since first pressing ‘play.’ This makes for a very drawn out listening experience and while Snailking have hardly got the market cornered for upbeat sing-alongs, when it comes to crafting beautifully atmospheric odes to despondency, they’ve got it nailed. They don’t have the sense of humour that Slugdge do but if you like your metal stoned and miserable, check these guys out, they make Electric Wizard look like Gama Bomb…
Review by Tim Bolitho-Jones