Sunday, October 4, 2009

Slough Feg - Ape Uprising (2009)

I've been fond of the majority of Slough Feg's releases, in particular Atavism, Traveler and the unforgettable Down Among the Deadmen, but this latest full-length did not sit well with me when it dropped. After a few months I've revisted the album with little success.

All the components of a great Slough Feg album are still present: the bluesy leads, the slight folk follies, the attention to 70s/80s metal detail, and the brusing vocals of Mike Scalzi, but I just didn't care for many of the songs. "The Hunchback of Notre Doom" breaks in the record at a slower, doom pace, but the riffs are typical and boring and it never quite breaks into the melodic charging I eagerly anticipate from this band. Not a bad track, but simply unmemorable. "Overborn" begins as a stoner slugfest, with some nice bluesy wailing and metal gallops, yet it still left no impression. The epic "Ape Uprising" does have some good rhythms, but I wasn't enthralled by the entire 10 minutes. "Simeon Manifesto" was the first track on the album I really enjoyed, and there are a few others near the end of the album, "White Cousin" and "Ape Outro", both short and sweet classic metal songs which sound like Angel Witch jamming with Legend.

Born in caves that surface
Dry and hungry spells
Turning void of purpose
Future never tells

The album has a sincere tone to it that creates nostalgia for the roots of heavy metal, much like previous Slough Feg works. The Planet of the Apes series of films provides a good conceptual framework, and some of the lyrics are good. The highlight here is the old school melodies used in both the leads and verses of the songs, and there are a few fist pumping rhythms. All in all, it didn't add up to the quality of previous albums: not bad, but a little disappointing.

Verdict: Indifference [6/10]

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