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The Abominable Iron Sloth - S/T - 2006 - Goodfellow Records

Track Listing
1. Hats Made of Veal and That New Car Scent
2. I'd Rather Die Than Fly
3. I Am The Carcass
4. A Hot Pink Shell of My Former Self
5. Parasite Hilton and Other Flaws Inherent to Wealth
6. A Distand Pond from the Rivers of Human Limelight
7. The Family That Slays Together Stays Together
8. Climax of a Nightmare
9. Sailing to the Edge of the Earth
Animal names in metal are by no means a new trend. Mastodon, Behemoth, Leviathan, Gojira Ulver, the list of them goes on. But never has it been taken to quite the extreme of The Abominable Iron Sloth, who surpass even fellow armored mammal Iron Monkey as the most memorably titled beast in metal.

An Ice Age megatherium covered in steel would seem impossible to miss or mistake for anything else, but this Abominable Iron Sloth was still a puzzle at first. Goodfellow Records is a fairly new label with acts ranging from crust to punk to experimental, so is on its own not a strong indicator of this band’s style. The white cover and artsy press photos do not look particularly skull crushing, either.

Yet, upon opening the booklet we are regaled with a fully illustrated back-story explaining how The Abominable Iron Sloth came to be, and it is a grisly tale indeed, tipping the scales of prediction back towards darker realms. Yet even so, doom bands do not often resort to comics to get their point across, nor are their song titles anything like, ‘Hats Made of Veal and That New Car Scent’...

Perhaps this noncommittal image is precisely the goal of The Sloth—it is said to be a crafty beast, after all—best to sneak up on its victims disguised by misperception. Ergo, turn loose The Abominable Iron Sloth, and let its character speak for itself.

Opener ‘Hats Made of Veal and That New Car Scent’ turns out to be a righteous bludgeoning, immediately displaying an affinity for subtly step-wise shifting riffs that compliment the sludge metal style so well and a bass-heavy tuning to match. This is a theme sustained throughout and is one of ‘TAIS’s two most defining qualities. Nearly every track on this eponymous debut plays out like perpetual breakdown. Although the tempos range only from slow to barely medium throughout, and double bass, solos, and speeding riffs are nowhere to be found, ‘TAIS’ always feels like it’s ripe to explode into the bloodthirsty monster we read about in the album booklet.

The second most notable feature of The Abominable Iron Sloth’s style is the tremendous, caterwauling vocal performance. They seem almost too aggressive for the music at times, yet nevertheless define the style of ‘TAIS’ as much as, if not more, than the music itself. And truly, few if any vocal styles would so convincingly and confidently perform such lines as, “When you’re spoon-fed bullshit from day one, you ain’t gonna know sugar when it finally comes”, nearly acappella, or the entirety of the song ‘Parasite Hilton And Other Flaws Inherent To Wealth ‘, the deliciously terse, “Run, slut, run.”

‘TAIS’ unfortunately does not always live up to its unique and fearsome namesake; the majority of these tracks are pleasurable enough but are really not fit for dismembering the innocent and feasting upon their blood. Some tracks, such as the aforementioned ‘Parasite…’ and released single, ‘I Am the Carcass’ are especially memorable, but others cut between heaviness and predictability too closely.

One could say, though, that ‘TAIS’ serves as the beast’s ruminations as it prepares for war, flexing its muscles, and that these more reserved tracks are but a precursor for what is to come. If this is so, the next release will then hopefully chronicle the impending onslaught and break free from its current chains. Acclaimed success in the sludge/doom field is awfully hard to come by, but The Abominable Iron Sloth has the means to do so, and this debut is a powerful start. May the beast roam free.




--Etiam 01.03.07
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



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STThe Abominable Iron Sloth
2006
Etiam1/3/2007


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