By Dr. Abner Mality

Thuggish, thundering doom metal from this Italian trio. They kind of exist on the cusp of bands like High On Fire, Cough and even Electric Wizard. That means there’s not much here to take you by surprise, but you can be assured that the music is heavier than an engine block on planet Uranus.

Just five tunes, but fortunately no real duds. “Thrives” starts with clean guitar and soon transitions into a bulldozer of a doom riff right out of Electric Wizard-land. Screams and tortured howls are par for the course, but there’s some occasional lighter stuff and brief bits of post-metal feel. “Hyele” is the album epic coming in at about 10 minutes and this sucker is pure brute force brimming with feedback and downtuned fury. It may sound familiar but man, does it crush! “Loner” has a guitar tone and fast stomping rawness right out of the Matt Pike/High On Fire playbook. A very “barbaric” sounding tune.

The album highlight is “TMWRRI”, a cover of a song by the old punk/sludge band Fang, and oh my stars and garters, the riff on this is a total monster! It crawls along with hypnotic sludgy catchiness and an onslaught of tortured guitar noise that will fry your ears. Usually when an album’s best tune is a cover, it’s a bad sign, but in “Inanimate’s” case, things work out OK. Last song “Worm” is a miserable sounding track mixing in some very depressing clean guitar and vocals. Not an ideal choice to close the album down.

No doubt that Naga is playing some super heavy doomsludge…it’s just that the market is crowded with good bands. One for connoisseurs.