"The Id Will Overcome"

by Earthdog

When it comes to great band names, it's hard to beat The Abominable Iron Sloth. Hailing from Seattle, Washington and Chico, California, they have released their long awaited sophomore album, "The ID Will Overcome" which songs encourages quotes like "this is crushing" to "what the f..k was that song all about". Without going into the entire history of the band, it seems to be centered around frontman Justin Godfrey and his band members are whoever happens to be hanging around him at the time. They have changed their name from The Abominable Iron Sloth to The Indomitable Iron Sloth and back again several times it seems and that also fits in with their " I am crazier than you can ever be" type of attitude. The Abominable Iron Sloth unleash their kind of sludge metal a bit differently to everybody else as well... song lengths on this album are very short which goes against the grain to what most sludge acts usually do. On top of that, they have eccentric choices for material.

On "The Id Will Overcome" they do a cover of a Charles Manson song titled "Big Iron Door" which provides a surprisingly clean moment. At the other end of the spectrum is "Heterodox Nonconformists" which is a 14 minute collection of sounds that is atmospheric to a point but also extremely irritating and when you consider it takes up a huge chunk of this album's playing time, it's a waste of valuable CD space. However, that track is the only real disaster, the rest of the disc is a trip into some fine swampy sludge with only the occasional misfire along the way. The short running times of the tracks mean by the time you get to "Two Black Helicopters", you basically don't know what song you are listening as one song bleeds directly into the next. Along with "Two Black Helicopters", the preceding track called "Slugs In A Salt Circle" is one of the best tracks on the album. Low ended grooves that barely move above anything beyond crawling are intertwined with angry screeching vocals that are a acquired taste.

The vocals will be a key factor in whether you dig this album or not because there is literally no variation in the screeching throughout the entire album and it's hard to listen to the music without having that voice drilling holes in your skull. The title track is the other big highlight on the disc along with "Nineties Male" which have some cohesiveness to them but the rest of the album is pretty much hit or miss depending on your own personal tastes. One example of a miss is "Tramp Stamp" which sounds like Eyehategod trying to play grunge but at only a bit over a minute long, duds like these pass by quickly. When it's good, it can wipe the floor with just about any other sludge band you care to mention but to me it is too scattered and not much gels too well at all. The music and lyrics are inspired by the general hatred for everything humanity stands for and on that level, this disc is a fitting soundtrack. Fans of Grief and Eyehategod should fall off their collective chairs with some of the dissonant, slime infested swampy dirge they produce and while there is about 15 - 20 minutes of so-so sludge meets hardcore punk metal, that leaves another 20 minutes of absolute killer material.

I am sure some people will bypass this album purely because of the band's name and some will be turned off by the vocals but in my view, this is still a worthy listening experience that is like acid being poured in your eardrums. This is one of the most dirty, filth ridden albums of the year and I know most fans of sludge and doom will love this but those not in tune with the genre will roll their eyes in disgust which is exactly the effect The Abominable Iron Sloth are looking for. A little patchy but a punishing release. 7/10