“The Fallen Sun”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Canada’s Sludgehammer have got themselves one of the worst computer-generated covers EVER! My God, it is bad!

But you know what they say about judging a book! I can say that what’s inside that dire cover is actually well worth checking out. “Demons In the Woodwork” melted my face right off with a hammering rush of power and fury! This is a badass tune for sure, with thrash velocity and ultra-heavy groove. The main vocals are real guttural and corpse-like, but there are also clean (but still angry) tones to add melody and lighten things up a bit.

What kind of band are we dealing with here? Despite having “sludge” in their name, there’s very little true sludge ala Eyehategod or Electric Wizard here. And though the album is full of grisly song titles like “Consuming Afterbirth” and “Carrion Eater”, they are not true death metal either. Rather, this is some of the heaviest groove metal you will ever hear. Imagine the heaviest sides of Lamb of God and Pantera tethered to a kind of death metal feel and mixed in with almost proggy guitar melodies. An odd combination, but one that works for the most part. Those sewer-chewing gruff vocals give Sludgehammer its deathly edge and they seem to predominate over the cleaner tones.

There are some awesome riffs to be found on “The Fallen Sun”.  The ending to “Ectogenesis” and the pounding “Carnvirous Forest” are standouts. Some songs kinda overstay their welcome and by the time the last song “Casualties” appears, I’d had about enough of Sludgehammer. But these songs must be devastating when played live and if you like your metal heavy but shy of death metal territory, these killer Canucks will satisfy your need. But for Christ’s sake, get a real artist for your next cover!