United Kingdom’s blackened death/sludge metal band Slugdge are a band that simply came out of nowhere in the extreme metal scene and with Esoteric Malacolgy being the latest chapter from these sludged themed musicians this is simply put, a very well established and highly entertaining albums I’ve heard this entire year. Musically, if you take Mastodon with hints of Anaal Nathrakh, turn up the slimey production and a engaging atmosphere filled with sludgey heaviness this is basically Slugdge’s description of this record. Songwriting here is beyond excellent with amazing combinations of quick paced, slower tempo sections and groove-esque melodies within the instrumentation is just perfectly blended smoothly while vocalist Matt Moss masters his vocals ranges very well, going from death growls to black metal screams to clean singing. His cleans may take couple listens to get properly adjusted to the listeners expectations but it shouldn’t overly the album’s lyricial interpretations.
The lyrics are also phenomenally insightful to analyze as Matt Moss’s uses different themes ranging from Lovecraftian, Malacology, sci-fi and society but upon hearing this album, I noticed most of the tracks uses some influences from The Black Dahlia Murder, Leviathan and melodic death metal structures as the variations throughout each song compliments each others driven passages making the record creative and diverse. It took Kev Pearson and Matt Moss, the partners in crime here, over two years to create the next installment of their musical vision, and it’s nice to know they are making some tentative plans for a future tour as we speak, a jaunt that would mark the very first shows of this gastropod metal entity. Despite the bizarre lyrical and visual concepts they’re working with, Slugdge is not a humorous band by all means and that’s a good thing since I never like comparing comedic themes for extreme music but Slugdge are surely worth every penny.
Esoteric Malacolgy has everything you dreamed of in extreme metal and fans of Blackened Death and Sludge Metal will not only be satisfied to hear a band like Slugdge sharing inspiration for Malacology but they’ve surely made a punishing comeback and it’s definitely favorites on my 2018 albums of the year list!
Overall Score: 9.0/10
Review by Jake Butler