SLIDHR-Deluge

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It is an undeniably difficult task for a black metal album to mix the right amount of obscene rawness with atmospheric bliss. With Deluge, SLIDHR create an album that uses unique subtleties to keep things interesting. From the blistering pace of “Rejoin the Dirt” to the sinister, plodding evil that is “Unseen”, SLIDHR have created an album that is completely their own. The variation of vocals and audible bass tone truly help them stand out from the pack in this concept album pertaining to nature awakening and destroying civilization as we know it. The concept may have been done before, but it has not been as committed or focused as this. By adding just the right amount of atmosphere, SLIDHR avoids the monotonous mess that this could have been in the hands of lesser songwriters.

In order to truly enjoy the album to the fullest extent, you really have to immerse yourself in the concept of it. It is something that the listener can really have fun with; the idea of purging the world is bound to raise some eyebrows, but Deluge is supposed to be over the top in that respect. It was created in the vein of destroying all of the evils that have been predicated by the human race, and the dense and sometimes elegiac atmosphere couldn’t really be more apt. Standout track “Hex” illustrates this point perfectly, as the bleak, reverb-drenched guitar line gives way to some fast-paced “woah-ohs” that are seemingly out of left field about a minute in. The attention to the small details are what separate Deluge from other albums of the same ilk, and when the track slows down to a sludgy pace, it is done so with great effect on the listener. SLIDHR does not cater to anyone but themselves on this release, and it is most evident by the song lengths. Most are close to five minutes or over that mark, and the band really took their time fleshing out the songs. It is not meant to be an immediately arresting listen, as most songs take their time building up to poignant endings, such as the clean vocals at the end of “Death of the Second Sun”.

Although there are many positives on Deluge, it is clear from the start that this may not appeal to listeners outside the realm of black metal. The album is deeply entrenched in its genre tag, with very little to offer fans of other metal subgenres. While the production is excellent, it unfortunately places the vocals in the background when it is clear that he is more than adequate in many different styles. Deluge feels like an album that is on the cusp of greatness; the dark tones and misanthropic auditory havoc that is on display here is more often than not affecting and just plain fun to listen to. There are some songs (“Their Blood”, “As the Dead”) that plod along and don’t quite pack the punch that others do. It is unfortunately somewhat detrimental to the end product, if nothing else than just making Deluge feel more bloated than it actually is. As it stands, this album is a very strong one that points to an even better album in the future for SLIDHR. Here’s to hoping they can release another one before nature gets tired of us and wipes us off the Earth.

Tracklist:

  • Wielding Daggers
  • Hex
  • Earth’s Mouth Opens
  • Symbols Obscuring
  • Rejoin The Dirt
  • Their Blood
  • Death Of The Second Sun
  • Unseen
  • As The Dead
  • Rays Like Blades
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