Label: Willowtip Records
‘Slug-themed death metal’ may sound like a joke, but anyone who has encountered Slugdge will know that it’s a joke that is both funny, and conveyed by surprisingly good death metal. Latest album, Esoteric Malacology, is the fourth album from the band, and is as amusing and impressive as ever. There’s something about song titles like ‘Salt Thrower’ and ‘Transilvanian Fungus’ that can’t help but raise a smile; whilst their sludgey death metal also has a surprisingly progressive edge. This is probably the best death metal album released thus far in 2018; and one of the most enjoyable I’ve come across this year from any genre.
Of course, some people might think Slugdge are nothing but a joke; but such a criticism is to miss the point entirely. Much like Cannabis Corpse, Slugdge are a band who revel in death metal’s absurdities, and of the joy that’s inherent in fast, technical metal. A cleaner production than on previous albums helps highlight just how talented the duo are with their instruments, and makes the contrast between clean vocals and more typical death metal styles all the more effective. That Slugdge aren’t one of the biggest bands in death metal is an absolute crime, and Esoteric Malacology is an album sure to feature on any worthwhile end-of-year death metal list. Praise Mollusca!