"Another Sin"

By The Great Sun Jester

The latest release from Pennsylvania based sludge band Deadly Sin (Sloth) represents the band’s deepest dive yet into the sewer, but the depths harbor unexpected surprises. Self-released items like this have sketchy reputations – there’s an abundance of websites like Reverbnation or Bandcamp where dopey-eyed dreamers with little perceptible skill push their musical musings like the second coming of Black Sabbath. The slush pile is bigger than ever before and rifling through it with hopes of finding even a diamond in the rough, much less a polished gem, is an increasingly lonely enterprise. Deadly Sin (Sloth) is blood and guts sludge seething with absolute sincerity. This isn’t a gimmick. 

If the above paragraph doesn’t persuade you, the opener “Artificial Organs” will. The shambling backbeat threatens to fall away at any moment while guitarist W.P. down strokes a minimalist, guttural riff. Vocalist J.S. brays and screams like someone buried under ten pounds of offal. His voice veers between bloodshot anguish and white knuckled rage. “Gash” neatly personifies its title – listeners don’t so much as take the song in as it’s inflicted on them. The short track opens with an uncharacteristically speedy, practically punk rock intro before sinking into another deep, clanging groove. “Nose Powder” is cut from much of the same cloth, but it’s interesting to hear how the music boomerangs between virtual silence and more unhinged, outrageous punk rock riffing. The track is akin to someone swinging erratically between suppressed rage and outright murderous intent. 

“Laceration” doesn’t latch onto the same ball busting tempos heard on the previous two tracks, but doesn’t confine itself to leaden riffing either. The pendulum sway from accelerated blasts of distortion into slower parts creates great tension and J.S., like he does on throughout the album, gives the lyrical content some nuanced phrasing that works astonishingly well in this musical context. The album’s final cut, “The Secret Life of Walter Shitty”, introduces acoustic guitar to the band’s sound without losing even a fraction of its power. This is, in some ways, the album’s dark night of the soul and some sort of funereal suicide blues for sludge devotees. J.S. delivers a surprising bluesy vocal that never surrenders any of the throat-shredding menace making it so memorable.

The evolving lyrical content is another revelation from this EP. Like the other band members, J.S. certainly doesn’t view the harsh musical textures as an impediment towards making some sort of statement or writing about life with the violent clarity stamped on each of these songs. Releases of this quality are the sort of works that cement growing reputations and linger in the memory long after the final note fades. Highly recommended.