SLUG SALT LAVA
I first encountered Slug Salt Lava (from Istanbul, Turkey) in the early fall of this year, when their First-Promo rumbled my innards and captivated my mind (I reviewed it here). They’ve now released a new EP entitled Radiated Soundscapes, and these five new songs have only strengthened my affection for what they’re doing.
The music is entirely instrumental in a style that straddles sludge, stoner, and doom. Consistent with the band’s post-apocalyptic thematic concept for the music, the melodies have a dismal atmosphere and the pacing never accelerates past a mid-paced rumble, but guitarist Ersin Taş again shows a talent for concocting fat, fuzzy riffs that have a way of taking up residence in your mind — while getting your head bobbing to their beat.
The song titles prove to be descriptively accurate: “Titans of the Wasteland” moves at the staggering gait of a giant across a blasted landscape, while “Unearthing of the Molten Men” flows like sluggish magma (punctuated by bursts of potent chugging). “Infested Mountain” is a more hard-rocking number, and the twisting riffs sound like an infestation of swarming, mutated life.
“Mad Clan Dance” drops back into a lumbering lurch, its melody tinged with menace, with vocal chants in the background and a slow, bluesy guitar solo to highlight the song’s back half.
“Perished Shores” is the best of these new tracks, a glacially paced number that’s the most doom-centric of them all. It’s accented by eerie guitar (or keyboard?) effects, and, at the end, the sound subsides to make way for a solitary, reverberating guitar instrumental that pulls the mood out of the despairing depths and into something more contemplative, and even beautiful.
There’s still a sense on this EP of a band feeling their way forward, and I look forward to a day when there’s a human drummer in the mix. But with that said, this is still a riff-rich EP worth hearing and a band worth continuing to follow into the new year.