What’s the heaviest band you’ve ever heard? Sunn O)))? Black Sabbath? Electric Wizard? I’m talking about music that is slower than a Sloth crossing a road. Dooooom! But where Mudshow is concerned… they mix into their music spoken word poetry from Arthur Rimbaud’s ‘A Season in Hell’ which [successfully] creates a foreboding atmosphere. This is a concept album (according to the press release) about Matt Tremont and Atsushi Onita and some feud… and what that has to do with French poets… I have no clue about that, apparently it’s a wrestling reference. So, that’s cool. But how’s the music? That’s the real question and why I’m here in the first place.

Opener “Japan is Sacred” creates that atmosphere right out of the box and it isn’t until track two “Thunder. Fire. Blood” that the band actually plays music and holy shit it’s HEAVY. Mudshow play Ultra-Violent Sludge Metal and yeah, it’s pretty sludgy as shown on the next actual track “Purpose & Mercy” with it’s vicious, tortured vocals ‘put me out of my misery!’ is the blood-curdling chorus. The track is proceeded by two short instrumentals “A Symphony of Hells” and the haunting as fuck “Against the Sky Itself.”

“Destiny Awaits” has this flow to it, like watching a landslide, or maybe an avalanche; some more creepy as fuck recitation is added at the end. Anyway, “Onita Theater” is two minutes of menace with some discordant chanting going on in the background. This might have something to do with the wrestling theme of the album that I’m still not quite understanding.

“Burning Idol” is hands down my favorite song on Destiny. It reminds me of Rollins Bands “Liar”. The press release mentions Three 6 Mafia and I guess this song is where that comes from. It also has that little China cymbal ting-ting before the ‘rapping’ part comes out. The album closes with the somber “Last November”, a track as gloomy as a cloudy day. Discordant guitars doing clean picking over the drenched-in battery acid vocal delivery. It’s a super slow-crawler of a song.

So, I’m torn with this album. I tried to understand the concept of the poem integration which is a killer idea but then there’s the wrestling theme of this great rivalry that I don’t really care about one bit. It’s a goddamn ridiculously heavy album, as each song gets progressively more intense as the album plows forward and that’s no joke. This motherfucker had my head moving numerous times, especially “Purpose & Mercy” which is my second favorite track. However it’s not something that I really would go to often, it’s more of a mood setter I guess. Maybe like background music for a massacre when you have nothing to lose, but in wrestling garb… anyway.

This is for you fans of: Eyehategod, Neurosis, and I would even dare to add Sleep. If you’re into that then Mudshow is definitely right up your tree. Nevertheless, a solid debut that will shake your eardrums.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jeremy Beck
March 19th, 2024

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