Slights and Abuse/The Sycophant

Taking two recent vinyl only releases and putting them into one CD is Seventh Rule’s typically noisy and gnarly Chicagoans, Indian who deliver a middle ground effort of rumbling, sludgy, occasionally shoegazer styled metal, that won’t really impress anyone other than fans of the genre, despite its cool artwork.

Tracks 1-4 comprise the Slights and Abuse end of the spectrum and seems to be focused on noisier, burlier, more discordant sludge akin to High On Fire, Lair of the Minotaur or Black Cobra and such as opener “Slights and Abuse”, “Second Death” and “Cursed Reform” rumble and lope with muddy feistiness and crumbling percussion mixed with the bitter screams of Dan O’Toole. Then “Fatal Lack” changes gears and delivers a 15 minute foray into droned out, Earth-ish lethargy that’s though still laced with O’Toole’s painful shrieks and a few rumbles of girth, is a stark contrast to the first three tracks, and frankly, not really doing it for me, especially the last few rather haphazard and formless minutes.

The Sycophant part of the CD, though technically a separate release, melds seamlessly with the first four tracks as far as production, vocals, style and delivery, so the CD comes across as one album. Starting with the more urgent “Lust” and the repetitive tribal lurch of “Pigs in Your Open Wound”, The Sycophant starts out, much like Slights and Abuse, but odd interlude “Allotriophagy” mixes things up with a piano and some programming before “Gloat”, like “Fatal Lack”, closes out this side of the CD with a slower, more doom/sludge like tone and chanting, albeit at a trite 5 minutes.

Slights and Abuse/The Sycophant fits Seventh Rule’s Musical M.O and will no doubt appease fans of the genre as well as the ‘Chicago’ sound, but on the whole, its not an elite release, and while I’ll admit to never hearing the apparently revered The Unquiet Sky, there’s nothing on this release to make me want to check it out.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
March 27th, 2008


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