Leechfeast
Neon Crosses

When you’re trying to keep up with all of the heavy stuff, rock n’ roll and dirty music you can handle, you’re going to be bound to miss something.  In my case I miss a lot, but I’ll be goddamned by the Pope himself if I don’t try.  Slovenian sludge crew Leechfeast totally missed my radar, sonar and GPS.  This sickening quartet have been around since 2010, put out a slew of releases since then (2 demos, 1 EP, 1 previous LP and 2 splits…Jesus fuck, where was I?) and have just released their 2nd long-player, Neon Crosses.  The good thing about music is that there isn’t an expiration date or otherwise I’d have a physical and digital library full of spoiled, curdled milk and cottage cheese from playing catch-up.

It’s apparent from opener “Sarcosanct” that we’re in for the royal sludge fuck treatment here.  Distorted audio samples, an oozing and crawling Grief-esque riff and a belligerent “fuck you” tempo go right for the throat without an apology on the horizon.  This is doom-y and diving stuff with a groove run through a meat-grinder, hobbled tempos and raunchy, broken glass vocal screams giving off fatal whiffs of the aforementioned Grief as well as Fleshpress, Thou, Toadliquor, Leechmilk, Cough’s Ritual Abuse and Noothgrush.  Decaying wah-riffs practically throw up their lunch in your ugly mug, the drums hit harder than God beating his wife and the bass lines are monstrously tight like a bowl packed so deep you can’t even get a drag off the damn thing.  Hans Wubs’ kick your head in footwork and dissociative cymbal splashes drive “Halogen” kicking and screaming into a mutant, maggot-infested doom riff that roars into existence with a mucous like, snot-encased blues that’s as crusty and confrontational as they come.  Sharp, squealing noise breaks remind one of Cavity/Eyehategod’s savage techniques of applying feedback as the 5th instrument.  The stop/start nature of this lacerating cut has just enough of a tangible pace and lurid groove to maintain a hulking, mesmerizingly terrifying presence while committing to the slowest, filthiest aspects of the genre in equal measure.  A despondent, bummed on life midsection eventually erupts into a burning hot groove that might not full on swing but moves at a head-nodding, demonically infectious clip.  Adding to the madness are some buried, howling clean vocals that sound more like the chanting of Hell-devoted monks rather than actual straight singin’.

A backmasked intro (possibly played on keyboards) sets the stage for the gut-churning riffage of “Tar.”  This track is like getting ripped apart by a grizzly and then having your severed pieces mauled one at a time by the same miserable fucker that did it.  Insane noise-signals send messages to the devil as riffs adopt a faint groove before falling apart in front of your very eyes, all the while vocalist Jaka Vatovec screams hysterical death curses, whispers madness and conjures pure evil with a few surprisingly melodic diatribes.  Sorrowful, even tuneful lead guitar licks drag this one onward to the abyss while the ungodly drum pounding and bloated bass lines crush entire civilizations in one fell swoop.  Last call jam, “Razor Nest” mixes the band’s brutish sludge with all kinds of different vocal approaches, numerous voice samples and a whole fuckton of plague spreading noise.  It’s free-form like some manner of jazz music gone fuckin’ mad but it works and really fucks with your brain matter in the process.

These cats are easily one of the heaviest recent sludge bands in existence.  The impressive part about Neon Crosses and Leechfeast though is the fact that there is arrangement and memorable parts crammed into their murky swamp of sewage suffocation.  This is some hostile, unhealthy shit for all of the right reasons.  If you like it heavy and hateful, then Neon Crosses is gonna fit the bill big time.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jay S
March 28th, 2018

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