I think it’s fair to say that I have eclectic taste in metal. I enjoy a wide range of music (as long as it has little or no clean singing, of course), and I make a conscious effort to cover a broad spectrum of genres/sub-genres in my own contributions to NCS. But that’s not to say I like everything to the same degree, and I certainly don’t claim to be well-educated in everything metal has to offer. Of course, as is true of most fans, there’s a connection between the intensity of my liking for certain styles and the extent to which I feel knowledgeable about them.
Sludge — and particularly doom-heavy sludge — is an example of a genre style that I’ve consumed only rarely, and consequently I don’t claim any expertise in the area, nor any legitimate basis for saying what’s best and what isn’t. I tend to prefer faster, more explosive music, and I’ve yet to fully appreciate the beauty of being dragged at a crawling pace through sucking tar, particularly when the music doesn’t provide the relief of at least a momentary glimpse of light or a lungful of air.
HOWEVER, I’m a riff addict, and I do love a big, heaving, massively distorted guitar-and-bass tone. I also often enjoy really ugly music that feels like an alien larval parasite eating its way through my chest and eventually exploding in a spray of blood and soft tissue. And so today, after that long wind-up, I bring you music from Dukatalon (Israel) and Cowards (France).
I also enjoy eye-catching album art, and (as you can see above) Orion Landau created a real winner for the debut album by this three-man Israeli band, 2009’s Saved By Fear (which was later re-issued by Relapse Records after they signed Dukatalon). What, you may ask, am I doing writing about an album that’s two and a half years old? And the answer is: Last week Dukatalon released a music video of a live performance of a song from that album called “Vagabond” that really grabbed me.