Metal Storm logo
Sleestak - Harbinger review




Bandcamp music player
Reviewer:
8.0

9 users:
6.11
Band: Sleestak
Album: Harbinger
Release date: July 2022


01. Harbinger
02. Obsidian Flow
03. If
04. Song Of The Sea
05. Northwoods
06. My Wild Love
07. Maya
08. Collapse


Well, intrepid adventurers, it’s time to use your Sub-Etha Sens-O-Matic and hitch a lift on the Sleestak Pylon to join Marcus, Ben and Matty on a sonic expedition. This time we embark on a bit of a return flight to Altrusia.

When describing Sleestak over the years, I’ve used journeys around the solar system as a point of comparison, so let’s continue those analogies this go around. Hooray for consistency.

Our last ride with them, Aeon saw the band floating around the cosmos on solar winds and maybe occasionally dipping their clawed reptilian toes into the Metal Zone. Pretty heavy on the trippy and pretty light on the heavy.

Harbinger, as noted above the cut, harkens a bit of a return to The Fall Of Altrusia in that it’s a swell mix of both the trippy floaty cosmic cruising tunes as well as the return of the distortion pedal and some stoner-sludgerrific riffs.

The album opens flexing metal muscle, after an apocalyptic call to action on the lead-in track, “Obsidian Flow” and “If” both throwing sludge-fisted haymakers to let you know this will be a bumpier ride than Aeon.

However much like a bi-polar Sleestak (the giant lizard men from campy but heady early 70s Saturday Morning fare, “Land of the Lost” if you still aren’t up to speed, I’ve only been writing about these guys since Marcel first sent me Skylon Express back in early 2011) – pivoting between the Spock-like Enik and the raw aggression of his “descendants”, not only the tracks on the album slalom between Sludge and Trippy Trippy Spacetruckin’, the flow within the tracks themselves follows this trajectory.

During heavier tracks like “If”, the floor will drop at some point and the heavy riff beating gives way to the groove of the drums, the riptide undercurrent of the bass to pull you in while the guitar and effects make you feel you’re floating… before StonerSludgeDoom resumes.

On the more trippy tracks there is always that swell where things get intense. This continues back and forth throughout Harbinger, meaning there is enough of a change going on that if something starts to feel a little long in the tooth (?claw?) you’ll soon enough find yourself with a musical change of direction.

As with it’s antecedent, which contained a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun”, Harbinger also contains a cover of an iconic late 60’s track… this time The Doors “My Wild Love”, which goes, legs furiously pumping, into a temporary “Horse Latitudes” segue.

While I dig the return of the distortion pedal and covering Mr Mojo Rison, after taking this trek repeatedly (as prescribed by my physician), I’ll point to the sparse, acoustic-y “Song Of The Sea” as my favorite track. What is it with me and Nautic-themed stonerdoom?

While The Fall Of Altrusia (2011 MSA Staff Pick for best Sludge album) remains my favorite and their high (bong)water mark, Harbinger finds itself as my Vice Favorite of their releases.

So if you’ve read this far, you’re probably familiar with either their music or my fetish for former NBA basketball thug… er player Bill Laimbeer wearing a giant rubber lizardman costume and should already have fucked off my words to explore the Northwoods on Bandcamp.

Get at it, lest a Sleestak shoot one of their puny crossbow bolts where a crossbow bolt ought not to be.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8





Written on 06.08.2022 by BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.


Comments

Comments: 7   Visited by: 55 users
06.08.2022 - 05:36
A Real Monkey

Man, releases by these guys always come out of fucking nowhere.
----
"Change the world. My final message. Goodbye."

~Last words of Harambe, seconds before he was shot, according to child he shielded from gunfire
Loading...
06.08.2022 - 09:17
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Wooo a BCO review on the main page again? Christmas in July.
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
Loading...
07.08.2022 - 18:18
Rating: 8
BitterCOld
The Ancient One
Written by A Real Monkey on 06.08.2022 at 05:36

Man, releases by these guys always come out of fucking nowhere.


They are deep into their next album as well.. .
----
get the fuck off my lawn.

Beer Bug Virus Spotify Playlist crafted by Nikarg and I. Feel free to tune in and add some pertinent metal tunes!
Loading...
07.08.2022 - 22:04
Rating: 8
Cynic Metalhead
Nasha Vich Paisa
I think I never heard something so magical as the intro of "Harbinger" ever before. Totally hypnotic.

Great insights, BitterSir.

Jumping balls to see available on Spotify.
Loading...
08.08.2022 - 10:12
Rating: 7
musclassia

I'll have to listen to this again at some point - the first play I had of it I found quite disappointing, considering how good Aeon and The Fall Of Altrusia were. In particular, I remember finding the production really off, so I might have just been listening through bad speakers if you gave the production an 8, I'll queue it for later in the week

Edit: Giving it another listen, and I was perhaps harsh the first time around. Still, I feel like it's miss a bit of the expansiveness of the previous albums, and there's parts like the sung bit in If that sound rougher than I'd expect from Sleestak
Loading...
08.08.2022 - 17:53
Crème fraiche

You had me at "between Sludge and Trippy Trippy Spacetruckin".

I'm in! Great review as always BitterCold!
Loading...
09.08.2022 - 01:03
Rating: 8
BitterCOld
The Ancient One
Written by musclassia on 08.08.2022 at 10:12


Edit: Giving it another listen, and I was perhaps harsh the first time around. Still, I feel like it's miss a bit of the expansiveness of the previous albums, and there's parts like the sung bit in If that sound rougher than I'd expect from Sleestak


I get that, I'm in the middle. I like both the chocolate and peanut butter in my Sleestak Butter Cup equally. A good balance.
----
get the fuck off my lawn.

Beer Bug Virus Spotify Playlist crafted by Nikarg and I. Feel free to tune in and add some pertinent metal tunes!
Loading...

Hits total: 637 | This month: 637