Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Southern Doom Metal a.k.a Sludge

Grüzer ~ Path of Buzzards EP (2014)


 Another of the groups I mentioned in my Rising Sons article was Grüzer, with their own brand of triple guitar attack Sludge Metal. Their EP "Path of Buzzards" was highly anticipated the moment I found out it was getting recorded, now after a couple weeks of getting a copy, and I don't know how many listens (suffice it to say, quite a few) it hasn't disappointed in the least and already earned a solid spot on my end of the year list. The production and recording are excellent, as I wouldn't expect anything less from Jay at the Jam Room, all of the songs are solid from start to finish, I couldn't find a bad one in the bunch, hell, I couldn't find anything to dislike and that almost never happens. My biggest issue with it was trying to pick a favorite song out of the six that grace the EP, sounds simple enough, but it speaks volumes about the caliber of the band's first release that it is such a task. Ultimately, I settled on the closing track "As the Maelstrom Turns", it opens with a thick, snarling riff that creates that essential "barrage of sound" that Sludge Metal requires, then it turns into the Somme circa 1916 when the guitars fall into place with everything else and lay waste to everything in their path, with the harsh, shouted vocals falling into place right behind, like the brutal advance through no man's land. Just after the minute and a half mark the track shifts gears in the form of a bass part, thinly veiled in feedback, that rumbles into the second part of the song that's a bit slower, and more melodic with a thundering drum part that rolls in just behind it. The guitars start to take on a little warmer tone in the second half of the track, howling instead of snarling, and tearing their way out of the speaker. The group seems to take some subtle cues from Acid Bath on how to meld the two sounds perfectly, and they're just as good at it, with the vocalist staying in the harsher vocals for the majority of the time, but when he does change it up, the result speaks for its self. With the album going live pretty much everywhere today including Spotify, Amazon, Google Play, and having been up on their bandcamp for a week or so now, and a release show set for this Saturday with a ridiculously heavy line up including Black Hand Throne, Space Coke, and Fall of an Empire, the guys in Grüzer are busy spreading the word of the riff, and if you're a Sludge Metal fan and reading this blog, then you would be a fool for overlooking these guys, and that's a promise.

If you find yourself in Columbia, SC this Saturday, whether because you live here or you're trapped here, make your way to the Art Bar downtown and get in on what's sure to be one of the loudest parties this year.
~Skip

For Fans Of; Acid Bath, Down, Crowbar, 16, Beaten Back to Pure