Two weeks ago I had no idea a band like Slugdge existed but with the help of Internet land I now praise Mollusca on a daily basis. "Esoteric Malacalogy" is Slugdge's fourth attempt to summon Mollusca and I believe they are getting closer with each consecutive release. You might be wondering: "What in this Mollusca thou speaketh of, great Loveloth?" and I would say the follwing.
Metal is, contrary to popular belief, filled with wacky, hilarious and odd bands. Slugdge, like Devin Townsend, Alestorm, Mike Patton, Abbath etc., fall into quirkier waters or should I say goo in this case. Slugdge is comprised of Kev Pearson (guitarist) and Matt Moss (vocalist) who overshadowed a lot of established band with this release.
Yes it is silly, yes it is fun but goddammit it is so well crafted and executed that I can't stop listening to it. "War Squids" sets the tone, sharp, angular and massive riffs, growls, excellent deep clean vocals, insane drumming, all of this in a very proggy, technical, brutal and charming package. I usually dislike programmed drums but here I couldn't care less because they sound pretty good. The biggest reson why this record kicks so much salty ass is Slugdge's effortless genre melding and very good songwriting.
Imagine (here we go) Mastodon, Opeth, Carcass, Anaal Nathrakh, Akercocke, Gojira, Septicflesh, TBDM, DSO and Meshuggah all had a gooey baby. There is so much stuff going on and every riff that gets thrown into your face sticks. "Crop Killer", "The Spectral Burrows" and "Salt Thrower" are etched in my brain due to this quality I mentioned. Every song has its firm indentity and root but some tracks deserve a bit of trimming.
In any case, Slugdge are Slugdge which is pretty good for a DIY duo to say the least. "Esoteric Malacalogy" will very likely end up on a lot of year-end lists so the time to jump aboard the gastropodean train is nigh! Praise Mollusca and hail Slugdge. Excellent release and a very unexpected surprise.