Label: Black Bow Records
Originally released seven years ago, the split between sonter/drone/doom legends Conan and psychedelic doom explorers Slomatics is seeing a reissue on vinyl in June. It’s a fine split, and one that has been reissued several times before, but it still has a lot to offer, given that it’s the kind of record that’s perfectly summed up by the cover art of a warrior riding a snail – it’s slow, it’s heavy, and it’s incredibly powerful.
Conan are one of those rare bands who seemed to arrive in a fully-realised state, and their three tracks on this split are in the lumbering drone/doom style of debut EP Horseback Battle Hammer. These songs are slow, weighty, and oh-so heavy. The key to this style of music lies in the atmosphere as much as anything else, and that’s something Conan put across superbly on this split; other-worldly and pummeling, just like the music. It’s all a bit undercut, though, by the closing “I shouldn’t have had that last fucking spliff” sample.
Slomatics’ three tracks restore some semblance of order, though, with the crushing guitars and glacial weight of ‘Lose the Five’ banishing memories of that ill-advised sample. Compared with most bands, Slomatics’ offers here would seem monstrously heavy and slow; but following Conan, the psychedelic tinge to the music is what shines through instead.
It’s a fairly long split – almost forty minutes in all – but represents an important part of the history of the modern UK doom scene. It’s due for re-release on 1 June 2018, and can be pre-ordered on ogre green vinyl at Black Bow Records.