Ungraven / Slomatics – “Ungraven / Slomatics split”

Ungraven / Slomatics – “Ungraven / Slomatics split” (Blackbow Records)
Battle Helm Rating

Lovers of sludge will no doubt be appreciative of the degenerative noise on show here from these two underground class acts brought together on this 6-track split release. Formed in 2019 by Conan frontman Jon Davis while being inspired on a drive through Virginia, Ungraven was originally intended to be a solo act, performed with a drum machine in a similar style to old school acts like Godflesh. That it has evolved into a (super) sludge trio completed by bassist David Ryley (Fudge Tunnel) and drummer Tyler Hodges (Tuskar) is to its credit, for while keeping to an underlying industrial soundscape, the spirit of the south has also left its inspiration on tracks like ‘Defeat The Object’, with its thick stoner grooves chundering through dirty guitars, rumbling bass and stomped for shit drums that aren’t a million miles away from the likes of Nailbomb, especially when it gets heavier in the mid-section through a crushing mix of guitar effects and droning riffs. Smashing all asunder on ‘Blackened Gates Of Eternity’, the main hammered drum and noise riff combination is irresistible in its anarchic punk noise appeal, with all the instruments clearly being heard shredded while Davis himself sounds like he’s screaming into a full force gale – brilliant! Releasing their most recent album “Canyons” in 2019, and hailing from Belfast, Slomatics live up to what their name might suggest on tracks like ‘Kaän’, evidencing slow droning riffs and heavy plodding bass completed by melancholic melodies and an anguished wail that could easily drive you to self-inflict, yet also offering an interesting contrast of serenity, that when melded with doom noise, could almost have an hypnotic effect in unbalancing the senses. Just as well then that it’s only 3 tracks a piece here even though it all adds up to an album, so as the health warning goes: take only in small doses.

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