Everything is delightfully heavy in Rise of the Dawncrusher, the new album by sludge/doom trio Slabdragger (from Croydon, London). It took five years to see the light, and finally we don’t have to dwell any longer in the memory of 2011 debut, Regress, and especially of Bab el-Mandeb, its spectacular first track.
Now we have four new long, splendid & massive tracks of heavy doom, plus one short aggression, and they are stuffed with riffs, beautiful first class riffs. And with appropriate screams too.
The tracks are long – eleven to seventeen minutes – because those riffs need space, not just for the right amount of repetitions, but above all for the fitting accommodation of their power.
You can start with the first one, from Mercenary Blues, which keeps on coming back through the sections of the track – slower, faster, slower. The sound of the guitar is thick, sometimes smoother, sometimes rougher, always perfect, always beefed up by a hardy bass.
It’s quite interesting to notice bits of different recipes scattered here and there: the best doom is never built just on previous doom. Dawncrusher Rising is a perfect example of this: it has a solid, recognizable doom base (a deep, colossal riff with high screams on top), but it also shows something unexpected in the middle section, something between twenty to twentyfive years old.
And if you listen closer to every track, after you’re done with the inevitable session of wild headbanging, you’ll find a lot more than the standard statement of the riff. You’ll get echoes, double voices, strange effects, huge drums, a powerful bass solo, curious fragments of other sounds.
I’ll get a flawless record that gives me all the heaviness I need, without filling my lungs with lead and darkness. The end of Implosion Rites, the beautiful last track, shows exactly what I mean.