It’s The Wednesday Sludge ya’ll!
Today we take another trip back to Chicago and bring in some really incredible folks. For those of you who like your sludge a little more intricate, but still with enough “boot to the face” aggression, I introduce to you: Faces of the Bog. They have some similarities to bands such as Neurosis and Pink Floyd; however, they make for one of the most interesting and unique bands I’ve come across in quite a while. Ego Death marks their debut release as of last October. The record is seven tracks in total, and the music is a fascinating range of psychedelic sludge. With hints of doom and acid tones, Faces of the Bog flip the switch back and forth from downright dirty riffs to spacey hypnotism.
The opening track “Precipice” is a wonderfully dark trance, easing the listener into a comfortable place. The majority of song makes for a meditative instrument to begin one on their journey through what is to come with Ego Death. The heaviness picks up right towards the end and leads into “Drifter in the Abyss”. This is a straight up balls to the wall sludge jam, made with grit, blood, and bones. It’s when we get into “Slow Burn” that the band begins to fuse many of their elements together. With aggressive and powerful grooves leading the drive of the song, the true power and tone come from the layer of darkened drones. There are immense moments of depth that suck in the instrumentals and vocals like a black hole, creating a wave of sensory pleasure and washing over the listener. “The Weaver” does something similar and includes a little jumping around with tempo shifts. While these shifts aren’t drastic in appearance, their tones create a dynamic that goes from unsettling gentle moments to hectic highs.
Titles like the self-titled track and “Blue Lotus” make up for epic songs not just in length, but in diving further into atmosphere. The self-titled takes abstract sound qualities of the vacuum of space, mixed with the decrepit dungeon, and leads into one of the angrier titles of the album. What comes forth is a pure pissed off sludge vocal delivery backed by a wall of darkened ambiguity. Weird waves slide throughout the blackness of the sound, the dense haze allowing those sounds to pop right against them. It’s weird and introduces a playful oddity that isn’t “too out there” to comprehend, but is fun and intriguing. “Blue Lotus” is perhaps the easiest going title on the record (and a reflection of the opener). It has clean singing, instrumentals that tip towards an atmospheric vibe, and notes dipping their way into somber waters. It makes for a solid ending that is gentle and eases one out of the dark trance they just adventured.
This is one of those releases that makes me kick myself in the ass and ask “How the hell didn’t I know of this before?” To me this is a straight up 10/10. It isn’t just all the different aspects of music that Faces of the Bog use throughout Ego Death, but how they are all so intricately placed together. Ego Death feels like a dream induced journey where one can explore the uncharted depths of their mind. The album is an existential ride of psychedelic waves and auras, as well as a collection of bangin’ sludge jams. I am beyond thrilled to have discovered this album, and given that it is the debut release of Faces of the Bog, I highly anticipate their future work.
Stream Ego Death below, check out the band’s Facebook, and let us know your thoughts! Look forward to sharing more sludge with ya’ll next week on The Wednesday Sludge!