Hellrad - Things Never Change (2015)
Starting out with this album, Philadelphia's new sludgers in Hellrad are making a confident first stomp forward. Grimy fidelity, thick oozings of bass, mean beatings from the drums, and vocals that sound like there's a cheese-grater strapped over the microphone come together for a nasty stew full of unidentifiable chunks. Despite the roughness, they've got a good flow going on as they move from song to song, throwing out all-cap titles like "DOPE FIEND JESUS", "STREET ZOMBIES", and "SMOKE MORE CRACK" while weighing the aggression against the swampiness (which is emulated with surprising accuracy for a group from the City of Brotherly Love).
The occasional audio samples tucked into the songs go along with the titles in pointing to the group's tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, so if you demand a straight face from your misanthropic drug-fueled slimings, you may want to look elsewhere. On the other hand, if you're cool with that attitude, and you want some truly dirty-sounding sludge, give Hellrad a try. Just don't expect to be able to understand the vocals.
For Fans Of; Dopethrone, Electricjezus, EyeHateGod, Hypnochron, Legalize Crime