I just finished writing a review that shall appear in the future. And I admit, it didn’t go well. Same as Alkerdeel‘s Slonk, this other record also advocates a mixture of sludge and doom, lost in ethereal wailings, muted riffs, and beastly drums. Only, it just doesn’t click, nor does it convey oomph or passion.
But Alkerdeel here truly deliver a ferocious brand of their very unique metal moonshine. And this on a bed of more or less authentic Black Metal vibes. A style that seems to fit the theme better than what others chose as their base. Yet again, the rabbit on the cover gave us pause. And I started to wonder what kind of hole the band would lead us down into.
Luckily these guys waste no time with lengthy intros. Instead, they almost make you drown in that avalanche of mud their sludgy realm brings with it. And this pretty much straight from the starting shot.
In a way, Slonk gets you that proverbial sludge fare. Downturned, mud-laden, and full of those almost proverbial screams. At a scale that would make Waingro proud, and that is quite a feat. Yet, the screaming – as it usually does – only served to irk the RMR crew here. With a large portion of sensory overload to go with it, fries included.
That they used their space-age atmospherics1) pretty much saved their bacon, though. You see, this packages all that noize into a nicely mysterious wrapper that goes well with that punky underground they so aptly display. And I guess that this should convey some sentiment of doom, yet it comes across as strangely cold. Cosmically cold, even. Which – again – could be the very intent of the band. But we – of course – don’t know for sure.
We already suffered through doom/sludge disasters that lost themselves in Death Metal nonsense. Or stepped into others that just played their wares as barebone sludge/doom. Yet, that didn’t really connect either. So, the fact that Slonk artfully dredges the bottom of Black Metal wisdom and adds it to the mix was – for us – really THE selling point. At times, their demonic riffs indeed sound better than many wannabe Gorgoroths with spiked fists.
And this shows that Alkerdeel here found the right cocktail of punk urges, sludge streams, and total blackened metal. There is no time lost with endless atmospherics, no Congressus cum Daemone that somehow happens in another room and that leaves you wondering.
Slonk gets you pretty straightforward action that – whilst repetitive to an extent – will never bore you or rub you the wrong way. Apart from the relentless screams, of course. In fact, the Scandinavian Black Metal vibes really push through all that cosmic nonsense and establish themselves as the driving force behind Alkerdeel‘s dark geekery.
And it’s a testament to their savoir-faire that they morphed that record into a coherent mass. One that takes no prisoners, and – indeed – wastes no time with unnecessary decorum. Yet again, the offering is for sure more accessible than other such records we stumbled across. And this is – in my book – a pretty difficult endeavor.
Make no mistake, the RMR deck crew is no great fan of this genre. But credit where credit is due, right? This is an intense, densely constructed piece of alloy that is refreshingly bellicose and fierce.
So, if your fancy is metal that is loud, scratchy, grimy, mean, and red-hot, Slonk is the piece you’re looking for. A chunk of raw fury that captivated this audience with that sticky blackened avalanche of cosmic rage.
|1.||Or more, non-atmospherics.|