Conan / Slomatics – Split (original release 2011 / to be RE-re-released by Black Bow Records, 01 June 2018)
Almost two years ago, the 2011 split record between these two bands, each of whom has been discussed multiple times on this website (Conan | Slomatics), got the re-release treatment on a really cool picture disc by Black Bow Records. We discussed that right here.
But in case you missed it (or if you DID manage to snag one of those copies, but you wish you had a second one to listen to!), Black Bow is doing it again! This time on 180g heavyweight vinyl (for the first time ever) in a peculiar shade of “ogre green” (also for the first time ever). Keep reading to revisit our review of these songs from the 2016 release, and then find where you can buy a copy of the new edition.
Taken from 2016 VOS review:
Each band has contributed three tracks to this split, averaging around six minutes apiece — but although Slomatics‘ three songs are all pretty close to that figure, the Conan side is divided up a bit more unevenly. The middle track, “Obsidian Sword,” is a minute-long interlude consisting of this weird electro-distorted voice talking. Outside of that, the other tracks (“Retaliator” and “Older than Earth”) are exercises in deep and sludgy, YOB-like, epically slow doom; bass-heavy, and with jarring amounts of fuzz and distortion. The last of these — by far the longest of the three — also incorporates a wavery, old-filmstrip-soundtrack-style synth that takes over the lead in a couple spots. Vocally, it’s all about harmonized hollering and yelling, in two parts much of the time, but then for extra dramatic emphasis, occasionally switching to a three-part harmony, where the third part is more of a deep roar.
On the B-side, those who read yesterday’s article (or those who were already familiar with Slomatics) will not be surprised to learn that we find three songs (“Lose the Five,” “Black Blizzard,” and “Mont Ventoux”) that are generally fuzzy and slow. In the years that had passed since the band’s first two albums, it appears that the songwriting has drifted towards somewhat denser, thicker arrangements (plus the appearance of a bit of cowbell in the first song!); all three of these feature vocals more often than was typical in the older material, as well as including more layers of vocals during the times they are present. It still sounds like there’s only one vocalist here (and from what I’ve read, it appears this split was the last appearance on record for the band’s original drummer/vocalist), but there just seems to be more parts inserted into the thick and sludgy (but never muddy) mix. These vocals, too, are utterly dripping with endless delay/echo/reverb, kind of the “Ghost of Tom Joad” effect applied in a sludge metal context. Oh and by the way, if that super-heavy third song seems familiar to anyone out there, it might be because it was included on a ThrashHead Magazine compilation that was featured on this website several years ago.
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