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Album Review: TBA

Friday, October 29, 2010

Album Review: Floodstain - Slave To The Self Feeding Machine

Floodstain are tough-talking Dutch metallers who, according to their website, were "spawn out of the dark bowels of a town nicknamed 'Hell', a place dominated by gray skies and endless rain, where boredom gets killed by vandalism, drugs and heavy sludge rock." On closer inspection they appear to have originated in Hellevoetsluis, a small village in Southern Holland, although they currently cite the sunny climes of Alfaz Del Pi, a peaceful resort in Costa Blanca, as their MySpace location. So I think we can take all this PR posturing with just a small pinch of salt (although we do love that "horns" cursor).

What we do have to take seriously is their colossal riff engine spewing angry, dark sludge into any spare lughole it can find. Jozz, the vocalist and, amazingly, lone guitarist, layers up his own outpourings to evoke Down's Phil Anselmo at his most vitriolic, whilst bassist Bobysan and drummer Vesso balloon out the bottom-end. They eagerly diversify the aggression to echo both the stoner wall of fuzz of Fu Manchu ('The Slumbering Titan Slayer') and the magnificent roar and balls-out grunt of High On Fire ('Suicide Pep Rally'). Despite all this early bluster they are clearly at their happiest when settling on the driving groove of Corrosion Of Conformity ('Ice Pick Lobotomy'), and sound oddly ineffective when the walking bass and softened build of the title-track take us on a more rocked-up, QOTSA-influenced path - the halfway drop-off into a heaving abyss of jerking, psychotic Pantera hat-doffing soon gets the party restarted.

There's sneaky touches of Sabbath-esque musicality to be found in 'Crooked Teeth' and 'The Slumbering Titan Slayer', that rise up from the deluge of riff-slinging, but they are merely fleeting and by the time you've finished the bad trip of the bonus track's anomalous radio static and sirens, these moments are long forgotten. I could spend all day name-checking bands that this reminds me of; there really is no trick here. If it's meaty and it rocks, Floodstain will amp it up to the eyeballs and beat it black and blue until it cries bloody tears. The liner-notes even see them paying homage to "Budweiser" - the supposed "king of beers". Their early material (they've been going at this for ten years now) was full of promise (do check out the awesome 'Asphalt Blues' on their MySpace) so instead of all these aforementioned influences, that clearly run deep, we'll be hoping for a little more of their own personalities next time around.

Also online @ MTUK = http://www.metalteamuk.net/oct10reviews/cdreviews-fs.htm

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