First off: Welcome to Sludgy Wednesdays!
Each Wednesday, I’ll be talking about bands within sludge metal you should be checking out. Some of these bands may have been out for years and just under your radar, or are brand new to the party. Sludge is a genre that can sometimes blur the line between stoner and doom, so it’s my hope to introduce you to acts that really capture that dirty, drunk, thick groove that is sludge. It’s all about attitude and mindset when it comes to the music, and I’ll make sure to cover it all from different backgrounds.
For the first ever Sludgy Wednesday I figured we’d start with a band that was on my Top Ten of 2016 List: Beastwars! Now when I think of New Zealand my mind automatically goes to Lord of the Rings (things such as wizards, dragons, and hobbits). But with Beastwars you get a different kind of adventure. Their Bandcamp page describes them as a mix between Neurosis and Kyuss (which I would not disagree on). With grooves that go from thick to vibrant and play with hazy sounds to muddy ones, the band’s 2016 release The Death of All Things was superb storytelling and atmosphere.
The album was a goddamn delight soaked in darkness, depravity, and excitement. Flowing from one track to the next with raspy vocals, hefty riffs, and wild melodies, the album as a whole is a wild joy ride. This record came out of left field for me as I was searching through the labyrinth of Bandcamp’s newest releases. The soaring flaming eagle was the sort of indication that made me think “Fuck yeah let’s give this a shot.”
Immediately I was hooked on the dark atmosphere of tracks like “Devils of Last Night” that made me feel like I was in a haunting western. Beastwars isn’t one of those “dirty” sludge bands (while they do have moments of grit), but more atmospheric and rock and roll. Going back to that idea of adventure, The Death of All Things is a balls to the wall ride. Even when things chill out in songs like “Witches”, or get upbeat in “Black Days”, the band maintains a 100% commitment to trudging or flying forward. The groove and slide in these songs build to the melody and raspy nature in vocals, like a shaman telling an old tale around a campfire. With this in mind, the album feels like it has an age to it, that within its vibrant and weighty instrumentals, there is a wisdom to the progression.
The Death of All Things marks the band’s third release, and if you happen to be new to these folks I strongly encourage checking out their first two records as well. You can find the band via Bandcamp, Spotify, and iTunes. Fingers crossed we get these folks to come to the states and rock out. Hope you enjoyed the first Sludgy Wednesday, and keep in touch for new bands each week. For now, go ahead and listen to this album below and let us know your thoughts!