Grime
Deteriorate

There’s nothing like a dose of visceral, filth-ridden sludge to lift the spirits. Italy’s Grime delivers the muck and the misery through eight deep, festering cuts comprising the band’s second release. Although Grime is clearly not out to reinvent the wheel, they sure know how to crank out seething, despondent sludge anthems, with smatterings of groove. They wear their influences on their sleeves, namely Eyehategod and Grief, plundering forth with raw, bluesy sludge riffs, a forceful rhythm section, and deranged vocal eruptions. They ply their trade with passion and intensity, and despite the restrictions of their one-dimensional traits and sluggish tempos, the song-writing incorporates a strong groove-based element and subtle variations to keep the album’s momentum trudging forward.

Several of the songs are a bit overdone in length, and the album becomes a grueling endurance test by its conclusion, yet like any good sludge album the uncompromising style often requires great patience to absorb the challenging experience. And when the mood is right this stuff can really hit the spot, and Deteriorate is no exception. Grime create a harsh and unsettling atmosphere, further consolidated by the suitably unhinged (and monotonous) screams which make-up the vocal output. Furthermore, Deteriorate comes fitted with an appropriately buzzing, reverb-laden production job that is heavy on the rough edges – befitting the raw, feral tone of the music.

Opening duo, “Burning Down the Cross” and “Pouring Out The Hatred”, sets the tone for the rest of the album. The feedback drenched songs share threads of similarity in pacing and structure, living up to their bleak titles with an anvil heavy stomp and fleeting grooves. Following the insanely heavy, downtrodden march of “Down By The Dreg”, the band strike hard with the excellent “Giving Up” offering a livelier pace, anchored by powerhouse grooves and a couple of bluesy and genuinely catchy doom riffs. “Restless Man” is another strong cut with a searing swamp-blues stomp, barbed grooves and solid riffs. Although it would have been nice if the music was allowed more time to breathe from the relentless vocals. The last couple of tracks, “Pills” and “Idiot God”, aren’t without their strong points; the latter in particular features some satisfyingly punishing riffage within its slow, steamrolling lurch. Yet concluding the album with the two longest songs proves a bit detrimental and unnecessary in regard to the album’s flow. It stands as a relatively minor blemish on an otherwise solid album.

Props to the killer artwork as well for doing justice to the slab of extreme sludge the band partake in. The rotting corpse and sinister creatures adorning the cover represents a fitting visual accompaniment to this dark and punishing sludge assault. Deteriorate is a challenging album that’s not for the faint hearted. Yet for those inclined, the seething hatred and murky grooves surfacing through the tar-coated exterior carries a rotten charm that should hold a strong appeal for sludge enthusiasts.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Luke Saunders
August 1st, 2013

Comments

  1. Commented by: blighty

    Hadn’t heard of these guys before. Will check it out. I am all about sludge and doom, but I have to say that the biggest problem with the genre is the vocals. Yes, Mike Williams is great. But the biggest turn off for me with any new sludge album is when the vocals come in and they are more of the same upper register, unintelligible, screeches. One of the nice things about that Oxtongue ep was the varied vocal work. Sludge should sound deranged, and the oftentimes monotonous vocals just ruin that atmosphere.


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