Oct 7, 2010

Floodstain - Slave To The Self - Feeding Machine

This is the new album from Dutch Stoner Metallers Floodstain and this album is titled "Slave To The Self Feeding Machine" and its released on BadMoodMan Records which is an part of the Solitude Productions crew from Russia. Its great to see this label expanding in the way it is at the moment, from a mainly Gothic/Death Doom label, they are now bringing in many varied styles from within the Doom and Stoner Metal genres. Floodstain are another band brought into the melting pot and while they are from the Netherlands, their style is very Americanized Stoner/Sludge in the vein of Kyuss, Fu Manchu, Queens Of The Stone Age, Alabama Thunderpussy and Down. Speaking of Down, the vocals here are very much at times in the vein of Phil Anselmo and musically they have an similar type of beefy grunt to the guitar sound. When all is said and done however, the band seems to be copying rather than trying to re-invent anything which is not always a bad thing if its done well.

Some songs stand out more so than others, "Deathproof" and "Ice Pick Lobotomy" have a fair amount of aggression and attitude with some great riffage and "Suicide Pep Rally" has some interesting melody lines that make that particular song stand out from the rest. However the other tracks lack anything to write home about, there is nothing terrible either but the phrase "Going Through The Motions" kind of applies here although they do conduct themselves with a lot of passion and energy. Early Sabbath-esque type of riffing is used here and there to break up the songs and to create some additional mood and there is some powerhouse grooves in places. Too often though they seem to be playing it safe (The Peace Within) or not making the most out of good ideas (The Slumbering Titan Slayer). There is still more than enough infectious grooves, melodies and heavy, chunky Sludge-Rock to make this better than average but you can't help but feel something is missing.

Apart from the obvious use of various cliche's, the album also suffers from an production point of view. The vibe is that of a rehearsal room more than an actual recording session and the playing lacks a certain tightness which harms the overall power of the songs. While I feel they have a way to go to compete with the bands that obviously influenced them, they certainly have produced a decent album but have the potential to do much better in the future. The guitar work is good as is the vocals but the drumming lacks a lot of power which is a large part is due to the production and to a smaller degree is down to a lack of dynamics within the drumming style itself. "Slave To The Self Feeding Machine" is just a little bit better than your average Stoner/Sludge band and that is about all I can say about it really...........6/10
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