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The Abominable Iron Sloth - "The Id Will Overcome" (CD)

The Abominable Iron Sloth - "The Id Will Overcome" CD cover image

"The Id Will Overcome" track listing:

1. I Destroy (2:24)
2. A Nation of Ignorants (2:13)
3. Slugs in a Salt Circle (1:43)
4. Two Black Helicopters (3:33)
5. Mongoroid (2:37)
6. Nineties Male (3:26)
7. The Id Will Overcome (2:15)
8. Big Iron Door (1:11)
9. Tramp Stamp (1:09)
10. Kilimanjaro Dreamin (3:55)
11. Heterodox Nonconformists (13:58)
12. The Timely Death of Billy Mays (2:51)

Reviewed by on May 5, 2010

"If humanity is a virus, then 'The Id Will Overcome' certainly would be a fitting set of theme songs."

The Abominable Iron Sloth broke into the sludge scene back in 2006 with their well-received eponymous debut. Combining hardcore punk, sludge, and doom they have developed their sound further on “The Id Will Overcome,” replacing some of the groove that laced through their first album with more dissonant fixtures. While neither all good nor all bad, fans of Eyehategod and their ilk will be pleased.

Starting off the album are the screamers that have just a little to do with groove or melody, and much to do with dissonant force. Guitarist Justin Godfrey alternates between sludgy chords and wailing feedback fuzz, while Andre Sanabria plays his drums like the soundtrack to the funeral of the dirge. And bassist Aubrey Debauchery creates the always-present low rumble.

The Abominable Iron Sloth paces their songs out slowly; there isn’t anything on here that would be called even mid-tempo. But they work this glacial pace well, as the songs range from just over one minute long to just under four minutes. No extended sludge jams or atmospheric explorations on the album, except for the thirteen-minute “Heterodox Nonconformists.” This combination of slow pace and short run time lets The Abominable Iron Sloth rumble out their sludge without getting bogged down by it.

As the album plays out, each short blast blends into the next. The scream-and-bang of “Slugs in a Salt Circle” moves easily into the salty groove of “Two Black Helicopters.” Charles Manson cover, and the only clean moment on the album, “Big Iron Door” devolves into the stripped-down Nirvana-esqe punk of “Tramp Stamp.” But this blending prevents any singular song or moment from reaching through the speakers and demanding attention; the entirety of “The Id Will Overcome” flows by like almost-hardened mud.

The one gross misfire is the aforementioned “Heterodox Nonconformists.” This thirteen-minute atmospheric jaunt is just an assembly of sounds, and is closer to a space education video soundtrack at the local library than it is to anything particularly interesting. And while those thirteen minutes take up almost one-third of the album’s runtime, it is only one of twelve songs and can be easily skipped.

The album music and lyrics are inspired by “disdain for humanity and what humanity, as a virus, has done to the planet." If humanity is a virus, then “The Id Will Overcome” certainly would be a fitting set of theme songs. But for those of us that enjoy more optimistic subject matters, other albums may be a better bet.

Highs: The grooved-out “Two Black Helicopters” and the title track are condensed sludge-punk gems.

Lows: “Heterodox Nonconformists” is a thirteen-minute waste of time.

Bottom line: Deep sludge-punk for fans of that type of thing.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)