|Artwork by Alec from Sloths|
How can you call your band Sloths and then get all hyperblasted aggro on me? I was expecting molasses thick doom, barely moving enough to affect a sound. Alas, Sloths newest EP Twenty Years mixes melody with sludgy hardcore and blasts of scathing black metalish speeds on three tracks.
“Elegy” introduces that sludgecore feel riff style with vertigo-inducing blasts. The melodies seem to be coming faster than they should be to actually be melodic but it still works. Proper melody has its place alongside a sorrowful atmosphere as the percussion (as it often does) goes off on tangents leading to a dbeat pummelling and massive pulled-taffy chords smashing together like waves of hurt.
“Void” too finds itself on the business end of a style bender. Highly affected guitars lithely traverse waves of sound. Gnarly bass ups the game as the guitars soar off into the stratosphere then hammer back down to Earth, ploughing a furrow of anguish. Raging, scorching runs filled with drum fills moves into a swingin' dbeat and a dangerously moshable conclusion.
“Passing” brings a groovy, almost pop-punk flow into the dbeat shakedown. It snaps and pops between ascendant riffs and furious blasts. Jazz-inflected percussion melds with fiery guitar melodies and sludgy bass movements. Through anguished screams and a wall of skittering noise it's constantly shifting between hardcore hybrids with emo-core breaking through the cracks in the aggro facade. Much of “Passing” actually reminds one of KEN Mode.
In fact, one way to describe Sloths as a whole would be a band like Scale the Summit meets KEN Mode with a PMSing Minotaur for a vocalist and a schizophrenic affinity for blast beats and two-stepping. Twenty Years is an intense 12 minutes and change utilizing a “throw shit at the wall and see what sticks” approach that works much better than it should on paper. There's a lot going on but even at their most abrupt Sloths' noisy hardcore transitions well. Dynamic percussion, rubbery bass, caustic and melodic guitars and heartfelt vocals come together in a melting pot of positive catharsis.
Just don't expect it be very sloth-like.