I could be going to sleep for work tomorrow. I should be going to sleep for work tomorrow. That is until I saw the boys from DOPETHRONE had done gone and released their third album.
Dopethrone are a three piece sludge band hailing from Montreal. I’ve praised their second album, “Dark Foil”, here and have been waiting for another resin-stained slab of sludge to hammer me into to oblivion ever since then.
The distortion powered sledgehammer is back in full form on “III”. For the uninitiated, Dopethrone play the classic kind of sludge. Evil as Satan himself, dripping blood and black bile, while it claws at your flesh from within a cloud of weed smoke and burning homes. It’s the demonic hand that grabs your skull and forces you to headbang come hell or high water.
If anything “III” hits harder than “Dark Foil”. The riffs are monumental monsters of distortion and grime, the buzz of a thousand hornets inside an empty skull. These are riffs with presence, you don’t just hear them, you feel them reverberate down your bones. The louder you can listen to this album, the better, as the sound just improves each decibel you increase.
While the riffs lead the charge, the crushing grooves provided by the drums and bass hold their own in generating these soul crushing sounds. Everything sounds on point, with everything mixed to perfection. Even with a bottom end so heavy it snaps necks like twigs, you never loose any of the other instruments in the melee. It’s even more impressive considering this is an entirely DIY effort. No bells and whistles here, these guys do work.
Choice samples make their return as the harbingers for each song, with the intro to “Hooked” being a Grade-A example of how to do shit right. Scratchy film samples about death, doom and destruction are one of the best ways to start any sludge track.
The tracks are a bit shorter this time around, with only one track breaking into double digits. For me this is a good thing, because you can only cram so many epic length tracks into an album. “III” is streamlined evil, droned out enough to let yourself get lost but concise enough to go hard for the entire run time. “Devils Dandruff” is a prime example of this. The shortest track on the album is probably my favorite, with all of the best sludge ingredients doused with a bit of napalm for some extra speed.
Personally Dopethrone is my standard for what I look for in “classic” sludge. If someone asks for an introduction to sludge metal, I pass them a bong or crack them a beer and point them this way. It’s the sticky-sweet grooves that dragged themselves from a primordial swamp, the acid-dripping vocals that raise the hairs on your neck, the behemoth bass tones massaging your temples and the unshakable obsidian foundation from the drums.
Go get this album. $6.66 and a blood sacrifice on Bandcamp. No better time to hail Satan than on your Sunday night, and remember, Burn Heavy folks.