Reviewed: May 2019
Released: 2019, Robustfellow Prods.
Reviewer: Ryan Whitwell
Robustfellow has released the fourth LP of Ukrainia’s sludge duo Celophys, “Fried Chordata”. When reviewing an album or EP I always read the band bio that comes with the review copy of an album, but I only do so after listening, just to see if what the label says matches up after I’ve made up my own mind. In this case, the bio included words like “uncompromising”, “speed” and “aggression”, and with those three words, my review is done.
To go into more detail, the album is a great addition to the sludge genre, sneaking into other realms of metal subgenres as well. The opening track, Fucked Up, demonstrates a mix of fast-paced rhythms for the majority with the tempo shifting down to something slower for the outro but maintaining that aggression. It almost acts as an overture for the album in that sense, as with each track the tempo does seem to slow down, with faster numbers up top heading down to the big heavy slabs of distortion slowly hammering into your ears.
Papaver, track two on the album, offers a schizophrenic mix of dirty sounding tempos, leading in with a nice and easy riff, which flows well from the outro of track one, culminating in a thrashy outro which leads neatly into the full-on pit fuel of track three, False Lizard and Yeti.
There’s a good extended number with 11 minute long “Magicae Mammuthus”. It is a good one to lose yourself in with its simple riff and dark blackened vocals and what the genre classes as a guitar solo. Massive headbanging riffs all the way through that one, which is probably why it’s my favourite. The release is capped off with an instrumental number, Prehistoric Barn, that continues through the slower end of the tempo spectrum.
I’m giving this one top marks. I absolutely love the mix in energy levels whilst maintaining a consistent level of aggression that the genre demands. I like the way the album as a whole flows too. There are hard changes in tempo, but those shifts happen during songs rather than a jarring shift after a pause between numbers. It offers the feeling that time and effort has been spent to create one album rather than five songs, which just makes the listening experience so much more enjoyable.