By Dr. Abner Mality

Hailing from the Great White North, Slagduster is one exhausting and brutal joyride through the land of off-kilter grooves and dizzying time signatures. The Canadian sons of Meshuggah have arrived.

They don’t skimp on the “heavy” anywhere on this disk…the crushing riffs and drum blasts are relentless. It’s all hooked up to almost funky rhythms that jump all over the place. If you like a lot of slap bass and polyrhythmic hijinks, you’ll dig “Deadweight”. After the first five songs, it started to wear me down and by the time “Untouchable” came lurching in, I’d had enough of the Meshuggah-meets-Sikth by way of Infectious Grooves. There’s only so much shuffling riffwork and out of whack bass and drum interplay the mind can take.

The musicianship is phenomenal and if you’re a player interested in this kind of thing, you can add some extra points. I have to say that “Soldiers of Meth” and “Peeping Ron” were pretty decapitating while “Mother’s Milk” and “Mushroom Stomp” are wonders of twisted metal. But I think Slagduster could do with varying their sound instead of playing variations of the same themes. They could change up the guitar tone, maybe lighten things up occasionally.

An intense but very monolithic piece of work.