Nov 11, 2012

HEADS UP: Snailking - "Samsara" ...

The band from Sweden who got their name from an Ufomammut record freely admit they are fans of Yob and the band successfully channel the style of that band on this EP/album titled 'Samsara.' There are only 3 tracks on this release and the total running time is a mere 35 minutes but what you get is a totally captivating sludge-metal trip. With the songs ranging from 9 to 14 minutes in length, any listener would hope they don't make things drag on too much and they don't but the 3 tracks still take their time getting into top gear. Snailking might be huge fans of Yob but don't expect a clone band. Snailking are equal parts Sleep, Electric Wizard and Monster Magnet. The variations come thick and fast and at no time does this short and sweet beast get stuck in a rut.

There is also a lot of 70's progressive rock elements and psychedelia is present through the entire recording. Opening track 'Shelter' kicks off with a simple but effective groove and it does take its time building its momentum but once the vocals kick in, this is classic stuff. Mixing bluesy elements with heavy as heavy gets is nothing new in the sludge-metal world but there is something refreshing about the way Snailking goes about their business. 'Shelter' ends up bubbling along at a energetic pace for the rest of its duration so it ends up being a very tasty 14 minute riff-fest. The other two tracks here, 'In the Wake' and the title track follow on in a similar vein, psychedelic, jammy and well crafted.

If you like the other bands I have mentioned here in this little review then that is all you need to know really. This is psychedelic sludge-metal without any doom plodding. The band gallop at a pace that verges on frantic at times and so this three-tracker seems much shorter than what it actually is. One gripe however is the sound or lack of sound coming from the bass. Sure it is there, you can hear it but instead of supplying some extra meat to the sound, it is relegated to the background of the mix which ends up making this sound a little too thin. Sludge-metal is and should be all about volume, power and intensity but 'Samsara' seems to be lacking. Apart from that, it is all smooth sailing for this bunch of Swedish doomsters. If you want your sludge to make your neck hurt, then this is a band you must check out. They are hardly doing anything unique but with great riffage and an irresistible grooves, 'Samsara' is mostly a winner. Pity it is all so short, give us more soon guys...8/10.

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