Rating:
8.0
Slough Feg - Digital Resistance
18 February 2014


01. Analogue Avengers / Bertrand Russell's Sex Den
02. Digital Resistance
03. Habeas Corpsus
04. Magic Hooligan
05. Ghastly Appendage
06. Laser Enforcer
07. The Price Is Nice
08. Curriculum Vitae
09. The Luddite
10. Warrior's Dusk


Slough Feg's take on heavy metal never sounds out of time or place. Their sound is something which borrows from tradition but they always remain relevant and continually inventive, and after a four year silence I'm pleased to say that this is still very much the case with their ninth set of cleverly constructed tunes, boldly entitled Digital Resistance.

For those not yet acquainted, Slough Feg is fondly known nowadays for their injection of Thin Lizzy inspired hard rock into a classic heavy metal frame. It's "classic" in the sense that they're often associated with the likes of fellow Americans Brocas Helm as much as Iron Maiden and all manner of stylistic stalwarts in between. Yet Slough Feg is Slough Feg. No one sounds quite like them, avid purveyors of the fresh riff that they are, and they've being doing as much since 1990.

The daunting task of delivering unique yet fittingly traditional heavy metal in this day and age is something they never seem to have trouble achieving. Mike Scalzi and co. are more than up to this task here; Scalzi's vocals sounding as charismatically enthused as ever, this time belting out lines decrying the modern world's compulsive absorption by all things digital. As always, perhaps even more than ever, things come across as lively, spontaneous and brimming with raw character. The reduction of the play length of their records seems to emphasise this impromptu nature, though Digital Resistance is a bit longer than its predecessor.

After something of an uninspired slump in The Animal Spirits, which found the band convincingly yet uncharacteristically paying more obvious homage to the heavy metal sounds of old, Digital Resistance comes as a surprise as it is a clearer shift toward the other end of their style, hard rock. While still being firmly rooted in heavy metal tones there is a noticeably prominent rock inflection to the rhythms and guitar harmonies in many a track, "The Price Is Nice" being a representative example, and this occurs more-so than can be said of any of their previous releases. Wonderfully though, such a change isn't disconcerting in the slightest. In fact, the band seems to enjoy this side of their sound, which hitherto hasn't been explored to such an extent; Digital Resistance is an album which entertainingly strengthens an aspect of their style. I can only hope that this new found strength will serve as a lynchpin for any future exploits.

But, before I get ahead of myself, this particular exploit has a really nifty feature which I would be remiss not to mention. It has the immediate and playful use of organ, handled here by Scalzi, in the album opener "Analogue Avengers / Bertrand Russell's Sex Den," and its brief addition to this one track is just as arousing as its title would imply. At the opposite end the closer "Warrior's Dusk" has the character of a Slough Feg standard, and as such it's a fitting finale to the album and sees the band finish things in fine form.

The production of Digital Resistance is well suited throughout to best bring the hard rock nature of the record to the fore, but still provide a satisfyingly weighted sound for the heavier segments with an allowance for the percussion to pounce clearly through the abundance of guitar licks and leads.

The only major drawback with the album is that the longer tracks "Habeas Corpsus" with its country western acoustic and the half-instrumental "Curriculum Vitae" tend to get bogged down by fixed rhythms and repetition. Sure Harry Cantwell is nimble at the kit as usual but Scalzi's songwriting isn't impeccable for the album's entirety. Having said that, one track which stands out well, appropriately titled "Ghastly Appendage" for impact, was penned by Angelo Tringali and it ably adds to the dynamic of the record with its infectious beat.

After the longest wait for a new Slough Feg record in the band's history, Digital Resistance comes as a most welcome and timely reminder that they are just as relevant as ever.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Band profile: Slough Feg
Album: Digital Resistance


 



Written on 16.02.2014 by
R'Vannith
R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.
More reviews by R'Vannith ››



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LascaillesShroud - 16.02.2014 at 15:55  
Not too far off what I would of rated it, I loved the dusty, post-apocalyptic vibe I got from it.
Ozman - 16.02.2014 at 17:09  
I actually consider Habeas Corpsus to be one of the very strongest tracks on the album
Apothecary - 16.02.2014 at 17:33  
I've honestly never listened to these guys, but I remember Joe telling me a while back that they're one of the few heavy metal bands he actually enjoys, so since he's generally a picky bastard with his music, I'm assuming they must be really good.
LascaillesShroud - 16.02.2014 at 18:51  
Warrior's Dusk and Laser Enforcer were my favorites.
Monolithic - 16.02.2014 at 20:00  
Well, you got yourself another music fan interested in listening to some good heavy metal this year.
deadone - 16.02.2014 at 23:44  
Wow a review already.

Definitely keen to hear more of ts one.
Lit. - 17.02.2014 at 06:27  
Written by Apothecary on 16.02.2014 at 17:33

I've honestly never listened to these guys, but I remember Joe telling me a while back that they're one of the few heavy metal bands he actually enjoys, so since he's generally a picky bastard with his music, I'm assuming they must be really good.

They're definitely the definition of "underrated", especially in the American heavy metal subgenre field. Try Down Among The Deadmen, Traveler and Hardworlder for their best stuff.
Apothecary - 17.02.2014 at 06:32  
Written by Lit. on 17.02.2014 at 06:27

They're definitely the definition of "underrated", especially in the heavy metal subgenre. Try Down Among The Deadmen, Traveler and Hardworlder for their best stuff.

No telling when I'll get around to them, but I'll def add to my list
R'Vannith - 17.02.2014 at 06:42  
Written by Ozman on 16.02.2014 at 17:09

I actually consider Habeas Corpsus to be one of the very strongest tracks on the album


That one's pretty original for them I think and it's one of the most distinctive tracks on the album, though it's not one of my preferred tunes.
R'Vannith - 17.02.2014 at 06:46  
Written by Apothecary on 17.02.2014 at 06:32

Written by Lit. on 17.02.2014 at 06:27

They're definitely the definition of "underrated", especially in the heavy metal subgenre. Try Down Among The Deadmen, Traveler and Hardworlder for their best stuff.

No telling when I'll get around to them, but I'll def add to my list

Lit. just recommended you my three absolute favs from their discography, so I'd agree those are the best ones to start with. Down Among The Deadmen is a bit folkier than their later stuff, if that appeals. It certainly does to me, but all of their tunes are generally very well done, especially those on the sci-fi themed albums Traveller and Hardworlder.
Cynic Metalhead - 17.02.2014 at 09:46  
Written by Lit. on 06.02.2014 at 07:06

Written by Apothecary on 16.02.2014 at 17:33

I've honestly never listened to these guys, but I remember Joe telling me a while back that they're one of the few heavy metal bands he actually enjoys, so since he's generally a picky bastard with his music, I'm assuming they must be really good.

They're definitely the definition of "underrated", especially in the American heavy metal subgenre field. Try Down Among The Deadmen, Traveler and Hardworlder for their best stuff.


Thanks.

I'm pretty much having tough time diggin' new record. As not much acquainted to Slough, I think It'll be great start the ones you mentioned above.

Honestly? So far what i've heard of new Slough is just great. Let's see how it unzipped if i dig previous records.
crucifiedjesus - 17.02.2014 at 16:48  
Written by Lit. on 17.02.2014 at 06:27

Written by Apothecary on 16.02.2014 at 17:33

I've honestly never listened to these guys, but I remember Joe telling me a while back that they're one of the few heavy metal bands he actually enjoys, so since he's generally a picky bastard with his music, I'm assuming they must be really good.

They're definitely the definition of "underrated", especially in the American heavy metal subgenre field. Try Down Among The Deadmen, Traveler and Hardworlder for their best stuff.


http://lastrit.es/Files/Articles/562/SloughFeg_D12_Inside3.gif

thats part of the beauty of slough feg with such a wide discography there is something for everyone. I personally am a HUGE fan of all their work. Everyone pretty much agrees Traveller is their finest hour and I love Hardworlder and Down among the Deadmen, but prefer Ape Uprising and Twilight of the Idols if I had to make recommendations. Digging the new one too!
BlueMobius - 18.02.2014 at 01:20  
I'm looking forward to hearing this. I've been meaning to check this band out for a while, and now seems like as good a time as any. I'm going to try to find it in-store tomorrow. If not, then I guess an online order will be ... in order.

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