I’m no sludge expert, but in Materia, Belgium’s three piece Blutch appear to have released a solid sludge/doombeast that should appeal to fans of The Abominable Iron Sloth, Black Cobra, Negative Reaction and such.

Slow yet abrasive and menacing, Materia has all the hallmarks you’d expect from such a record; gritty earthy guitars, foreboding, patient pace, creepy atmospheres and gruff vocals. The wall of crumbling noise is a mix of crawling, loping tracks like “Cut a Hand”, “Masamune” and “Slaughterhouse” and more urgent landslide paced tracks like the introductory “Smile” or “Stigma” and even stoner rock/doom styled “Black Caped Man”. Either way, the generally shorter tracks (with the exception of 9 minute ambient/droning closer “Confutatis”), make for a relatively swift, yet caustic listen.

Still though, amid a sea of high end doom/sludge, material doesn’t do quite enough to elevate itself to a higher status and is missing that ‘wow’ factor to make it a bonafide heavy hitter in the genre.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
April 19th, 2007


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