“This is the Title”

By The Great Sun Jester

Deadly Sin (Sloth)’s self-released debut This Is the Title is a six-song EP that revels wild-eyed and defiant in its honesty and simplicity. Virtuoso trips aren’t the name of the game played in these songs. Instead, these are anguished portraits in miniature bubbling with scathing dark humor and thick, subterranean guitars. The raw production and desperate atmosphere gives their musical grind added power, but it’s clear from the first song on that this sludge trio from the Ohio/Pennsylvania area pack quite a wallop. 

The first track, “Funeral on a Friday Night”, is turgid, abrasive crawl through the bottom of an abyss. The mix places the instruments in such a way that everything seems rendered indistinct, blurry when the track plays. Guitarist W.P. plays his instrument like a man drilling through a wall. His instrument applies constant pressure to the song and the brief bursts of percussion are hammer blows driven into the song’s heart. Lead singer Jay S. inflames his tonsils with an enraged, but controlled, shriek that never fails to convey the song’s story. “Are You Sludge Enough?” answers itself in the affirmative with its torpid procession of guttural guitar riffs. Part of the appeal in this band comes from the threat of imminent ruin – tracks emerge into being and sound like they won’t make it to their conclusion, but inevitably do. The music always threatens to fall apart, but never from over-exuberance, but rather energy sliding into atrophy and death.

The vocals return to a place of semi-importance on “Whips and Chains” after nearly disappearing altogether on the preceding track. The hellish riff march that W.P. conjures reverberates through the murk and defines the track. Its feral, feedback-inflamed fury continues on “Life Coach”. Listening to this brief cut, it isn’t hard to picture W.P.’s guitar as a dark hand reaching from the bottom of the sea to yank listeners under the waves and pulling harder with each new song.  “Homily (For a Tenth Ordinary Sunday)” alternates between a minimalist bellow from hell and brief, breakneck passages of bludgeoning sludge. This Is the Title ends with another brief song, “Human Furniture”. The track is pure horror show with nightmarish guitars, a funereal tempo, and a particularly crazed, malevolent vocal from Jay S. 

Deadly Sin (Sloth) aren’t about subtleties. It’s impossible to not admire a band with such pure motivation – instead of pushing you to shake your ass or pump your fist, this is a band intent on punishing you and unapologetically pressing to the edges of music to make their point. It’s impressively powerful punishment and delivered with methodical, unerring accuracy.