The Lord Weird Slough Feg – “New Organon” (Cruz Del Sur Music)
Wow, it doesn’t get any cooler than this! Named after 2000 AD’s Celtic warrior Sláine and formed by philosophy professor Mike Scalzi (vocals / guitar), The Lord Weird Slough Feg play a heady mix of classic US heavy metal (a la Brocas Helm etc) and 70s Celtic hard rock along the lines of Thin Lizzy. While their eccentricity and no frills underground production will no doubt irk some, “New Organon” is nonetheless their 10th release, attesting to both their popularity and longevity. With their previous releases themed on fantasy and science fiction, Scalzi has based “New Organon”, perhaps ironically, on something far more obvious – namely different philosophers from Aristotle to Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Indeed, the very title of the album is named after Francis Bacon’s 1620 book and the cover colour taken from the Cambridge 2000 pressing of the book and added lettering in the fashion of Black Sabbath’s “Master of Reality” and AC/DC’s “Back in Black”! With the music taking an equally eclectic approach, yet in keeping to sound of prior releases (and especially the recent ones), songs like ‘Discourse On Equality’ are driven by the guitar melodies from Scalzi and Angelo Tringali, not forgetting their heavier epic riffs and crescendo wails when matters become more intense as new drummer Jeff Griffin (who split studio duties with John Dust) starts hammering in. Galloping in on ‘Being And Nothingness’ the guitar melodies shine amid wails and frantic fret board runs as Scalzi’s soul provides a mellowing contrast on this short but intense run while ‘Sword Of Machiavelli’, of similar length, does the complete opposite in being a rustic folk piece with medieval tones and theatrical vocal harmonies. With bassist Adrian Maestas actually taking the vocals on the dramatic ‘Uncanny’, this is probably the most metal of all the numbers, abundant with guitar work from slick neo classical runs to drawn out solos and screaming breaks but awash with melodies throughout! From Central Pennsylvania to San Francisco the premise for this band continues to remain true over 30 years for Scalzi and his longtime buddies in producing metal pure of heart.