Label: ConSouling Sounds
Three similar bands: YOB/Sleep/Electric Wizard
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Shelter
2. In the Wake
3. Samsara

Karl Jonas Wijk- Drums
Frans Levin- Bass
Pontus Ottosson- Guitar/Vocals



Recorded and produced by Karl Jonas Wijk All music and lyrics by Snailking Artwork made by Johan Leion

Released 19/10-2012
Reviewed 23/11-2012



From the fertile grounds of Sweden comes the trio that is called Snailking, the king of the snails he is said to be. Samsara is a name we have seen before this year, Finns of To/Die/For exposed us to Samsara some time ago so I will not get into the meaning of that title once again. It is a snail-paced album with colossal riffs if we are to believe what the label is writing about this album consisting of only three songs, which would by some probably be described as an EP but the promotor said album and so do I. But what to say about this debut by this trio of Swedes?

We can say that it is snail-paced, with colossally heavy riffs that could easily open cracks in the thickest walls. That is quoted from the press info but at the same time it is not far off the truth of how this album sound. The production is very good giving the album this quite heavy sound while still managing to keep it very clean and tidy, I would also call it rather atmospheric. The sound is also rather dynamic over the three tracks this album consist of, they are all very long tracks reaching a total playing time of little over the half hour and with only one track not passing the ten minute mark. So it is not the album for the one looking for hit songs as they are a bit more demanding than your everyday simple hit based music.

Moreover, we have some spoken word sounding like they are from some old swedish movie but I cannot be sure as I haven’t really seen any swedish movies. These spoken words, I think they are at two locations on the album and they are actually quite entertaining, more memorable than the vocals that does not really have any lead role in the story of this album, rather a bit of a hidden role that I don’t really think make any bigger impression but I doubt it was meant to. What makes the impression is the grander scheme of things, the sludge metal genre is probably the one we can call it, with some fuzzy stuff and snailing riffs of course.

This is a good album, it has dynamics and depth and the songs are very good as well. This despite them inching slowly forwards in a metaphorical snail’s pace, the music is also such as it cannot be said to be easily accessible but that of course makes it all the more rewarding once you get into it. I would however have liked to have a few more tracks that are a bit shorter in nature as the tracks generally has a bit of a startup time before they really get going but then again it is not really that much of a problem. I would even call it exciting in a way like being slightly introduced to what it would be like living the life as a snail, sort of going on the slow side and doing some heavy lifting.

I like this album quite a bit, it is a showcase on how sludge metal is to be made. I would say that if this album is a very good showcase of a band that promises a lot and keeps much of its promise. So if this debut is any kind of indication I have just written about a band that probably will keep us very entertained in the future.



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