Slough Feg – Atavism

sloughfeg_032707_atavismThere hasn’t been a Slough Feg (formerly known as The Lord Weird Slough Feg) album that I haven’t liked and “:Atavism” is yet another impressive building block in this bands eclectic, true metal architecture. To be honest, I believe that “Traveller” has been Slough Feg’s crowning achievement for the hook bloated brilliance in the riffs and granite solid songs, making “Atavism” have a lot to live up to and accomplish to be able to hang on the same lofty pedestal as it’s predecessor. In a lot of ways, the bulk of this material can hang with the releases lurking in this band’s glorious and often overlooked past. The guitar work remains awe-inspiring and very Maidenesque (drunk in an Irish pub sort of way), not to mention that the riff ideas and accompanying bass lines are full of power, memorable movement and that unique twist that has always been the core driving force behind this band. In a lot of ways, the doubled harmonies and aforementioned Irish feel in the music itself is the golden calf to be worshiped on this album. Tracks like “Hiberno-Latin Invasion” are the selling points of “Atavism”. Impenetrable in the web weaved by the melody, it’s impossible to not be affected by the amazingly written songs on this album. Vocalist/guitarist Mike Scalzi remains the oddly perfect fit to capitalize on the “weird” vibe portrayed by Slough Feg and he yet again performs remarkably within his unique pitch singing style. However, the only real complaint I have with this album is Mike’s choices in the lyrical/harmonic placement of the vocals. I realize that he’s also playing complex guitar lines, so it may be much more difficult to find a different vocal pattern, but he tends to follow the riffs verbatim on this album, denying that sometimes necessary moment of separation and dimension benefited by a well sculpted vocal phrase. This one minor criticism aside, Slough Feg remains a truly inspired treat for the metal world to behold and I really hope this band is beginning to earn some of the recognition that they deserve. Too many amazing bands are tossed to the wayside simply because they don’t fit into some close minded idea or mold. Slough Feg battles on to return victorious with 14 gloriously metal tracks in tow to hurl at the unsuspecting listener. Bravo. – Marty

~ by martyworm on January 3, 2009.

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