In a faraway corner of the Southern hemisphere belonging to radiant women and men who loot (and labor), a storm is brewing. A seething swarm of stoner sludge swirls and simmers in the starless sky, and my advice, should you hear that thunder, is the same as Colin Hay’s: you better run, you better take cover. A scant 2 years after dropping a self-titled pseudopodian riff bomb on an unsuspecting world, Melbourne’s Motherslug have added a second full-length to their cornucopia of doom, and all the salt in the world won’t keep you safe from this slugger. You’ve probably picked up on my positive reception of this album by now, being smart enough to lurk in the Angry Metal Garden and all, so let’s slither our way through a word or two and find out why.

The Australian doomsters have named this most recent offering The Electric Dunes of Titan, an aptly image-invoking title if ever there was one. From the slowburn of gatecrasher “Downriver” right up to the last cymbal gently crashing its way out of “Cave of the Last God” and The Electric Dunes altogether, everything feels titanic and electric, and I’ll be damned if the copious levels of sustained feedback and downtuned fuzz don’t lend a sense of being, as put during a random astronomy lesson delivered on “Staring at the Sun”, ‘in the middle of Buttfuck, Nowhere’. I don’t want this to come as too much of a shock, but these guys win their race slowly and steadily. The riffs are there, and they are excellent, but it’s the band’s keen sense of maintaining a lumbering, monolithic atmosphere that makes this mother worth its salt. Taking cues from Electric Wizard and Sleep, Motherslug tend to simmer in an ooze of rumbling sludge tones and reverb-laden harmonics before revealing their sinister riff armada in any given song, and the payoff is as rewarding as anything by either aforementioned band.

The Jeffrey-Nothing-does-Danzig vocals of Cameron Crichton are delivered admirably and suit the music quite well, ranging from slightly ominous cleans to snarling shouts. What makes this band work, however, is… well, the band. Nick Radcliffe and his trusty drum kit keep everything plodding along smoothly with the pacing sensibilities of Black Sabbath or Destroyer of Light, never stealing the show but always keeping it alive. The give and take of Regan Batley and Cynthia Bae on guitar and bass, respectively, employs a similarly effective mentality, working together at all times and never upstaging each other. “Serpents” sees the band displaying this sense of cohesive creativity to perfection, opening with a slow motion peyote trip of minimalist techniques accentuated and strengthened by each member of the band before coalescing into a firestorm of fuzzy riffs and overdriven lead work. With relatively little focus given to flashiness or effects, Motherslug reaffirm the chosen doctrine of the trvly kvlt: sometimes, less really is more. Go figure.

One of the most shocking things I found on The Electric Dunes (I’ll see myself out) was the clarity of the mix. Even as “Cave of the Last God” writhes in its thickest, sludgiest sections, you can still hear not only the guitar notes buried within the fuzz, but the other individual instruments as well. Beyond that, the intermittent moments of lazily plucked Knopfler-esque clean tones sound truly beautiful atop Bae’s bass base, something I don’t typically expect from a stoner doom act with ‘slug’ in the name. The Dunes may rest under a choked sky of sludge clouds and feedback showers, but a clear mix with an average DR of 9 allow the music to breathe comfortably as it follows the snail trail to the end.

Perhaps more shocking, still, is the fact that these Aussies managed to make 44 minutes of doomy goodness fly by so deceptively quickly. I credit this to superior track placement, as the one song that suffers from a touch of drag (“Followers of the Sun”) is disposed of early in the album and followed only by greatness, the end result being a doom experience that almost feels too quick. If I have any other complaints, they mostly revolve around uttering the band name in public and should be ignored entirely. Between the riffs and the tones, they could go by Butt Gobbler and I’d still praise them. All in all, The Electric Dunes of Titan is one bad mother, and I expect Motherslug to take the doom scene by storm if they can continue down this road.


Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 9 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Independent Release
Websites: motherslug.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/motherslugband
Releases Worldwide: October 31st, 2017

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  • Baltech

    Wow, Followers of the Sun has a wonderful Reverend Bizarre lilt. This record is just what I need right now.

    • I’m not familiar with them, but I dug this so much that I’ll certainly look into them if that’s the case.

      • Ferrous Beuller

        Dude, you’d be into Reverend Bizarre.

        • Seems to be the general consensus, I’ll check them out after I’m done reveling in this Ah Ciliz/Chiral split, it pretty much owns me at the moment.

      • Baltech

        Finland’s Finest Doomsters! They only had 3 regular records but damn did this candle burn fast and bright!

      • They’re pretty solid doom.

      • SoLeftISeeRight

        I’m not normally a doom guy, but Reverend Bizarre had something special. I get the song Cromwell stuck in my head occasionally.

  • Brutalist_Receptacle

    G’Doom, mate! Put another Sheila on the barbie!

    • You consistently make me proud.

    • Matt slatz

      Hey brutal how bout a YES

    • The band referenced this line on their Facebook link to this review. I am so proud of you.

      • Brutalist_Receptacle

        Thanks, MoM.

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    Is there officially an Australian Scene now? Seriously, how many great albums this year from the Land Of Oz??

    • The land down under does seem to make up for its lethal wildlife with similarly killer metal. This year has seen a lot of excellent releases across the board, I don’t see anyone’s year end lists being a particularly straightforward and easy affair.

    • Lithophyte

      Yeah, there’s an Australian Scene. There is even a Fuck the Fitzroy Doom Scene.

      • Lithophyte

        Faaark! I’m listening to this now. Knew of them since they’re local but haven’t seen ’em. This is epic – dirty and clean at the same time!

  • Monsterth Goatom

    There’s a band called Butt Gobbler? Sounds like I’d probably like them. The question is: are they as good as Turd Nibbler?

    • HeavyMetalHamster

      They’re a lot more aggressive.

      • Monsterth Goatom

        That should be right up my alley.

        • HeavyMetalHamster

          DIRTY

    • Eli Valcik

      Yes. but the best band name would have to go to the Bong Ripper parody: Dong Gripper.

      • sir_c

        #metoo Obi Wank a Noobie

    • To the best of my knowledge, that was a hypothetical Muppet original for the sake of a point.

      • Monsterth Goatom

        Ah, I misread. To give back some love, have you heard Asheran by Dvne? I also see Zao has a new E.P. out. Wonder what Grymm thinks of that one.

        • I’ve been dragging my feet on looking into new Zao, but Dvne rock. Thanks for playing!

  • Absolomb

    Mother of doom this is good

  • Solrac Avan

    Can´t listen to them right now, but the review did catch my interest. Just one question, is the album more stoner metal a la Elder, or does it resemble more the doom of Darkher?

    • Definitely more Elder than Darkher.

      • Solrac Avan

        Thank you Mr. Master, I´ll check them out later

      • GoudhaBuddha

        For the sake of comparison, I think Khemmis is the most similar

        • More than fair, though Khemmis tends to employ more upbeat scales than the ‘slug does.

  • hallowed

    This is good. Really good.

  • Dr. Scorpion

    No sludgde :(
    Motherslug :)

  • Innit Bartender

    All The World’s A Stage-inspired gear photo.
    Rick Griffin-inspired logo.
    All’s good.

  • Nukenado

    Stoner doom leads the high DR charge. Never was my thing but I like the clarity.

    • This site definitely opened my eyes to the glory of stoner doom. I’d panned most of it for years, then I got “stuck” with The Necromancers and everything changed. I’m really interested in checking out Reverend Bizarre after seeing them in the comments, but I’m currently too engrossed in the Ah Ciliz/Chiral split, which you will probably dig.

      • Nukenado

        I’d put the Necromancers as stoner rock a la Clutch. If this is more similar to the Necromancers than Ufomammut I will be checking out posthaste.

        • Way closer to Necromancers but sludgier, definitely worth looking into.

          • Nukenado

            Hell yeah, I have something to do after school ends.

          • You have Angry Metal Permission to bail in the name of metalz.

          • Nukenado

            This is hard evidence for a leave, yo!

          • Nukenado

            Hmm, tried this out. This is a bit slow for my tastes, but not bad. If I owned a bar this would be its background music. It’s pretty atmospheric.

          • That’s a good lad. Now go check out the Ah Ciliz/Chiral split!

          • Nukenado

            Hmm, Origins is good, but since you made me discover Hipnotic Dirge Records I’ve been doing some digging.
            I’ve been listening to Obitus for the past 15 minutes. They start out a bit meh but things get interesting from the 3 minute mark,.

          • Nukenado

            Okay Drew.
            I discovered an album in the forums that fucking broke me.
            Porky Vagina – Astroschwein (Yes, that is their band name)

            A fusion of Anaal Nathrakh, Igorrr and a bit of Diablo Swing Orchestra fun, with 3rd grade lyrics.
            I don’t know if they fused them successfully, but I’ve listened to the album head to toe and immediately replayed.

            Be warned, this album includes such gems like “Fekal Disko Party”, which has a dude yell “Disco!” in a Polish accent followed by… blast beats and disco.
            I don’t know what the fuck this is. But I like it, and I want you guys to try it out, if not just for the novelty.

          • This sounds like I need to check it out last month. You have done well to bring this to my attention, young padawan.

  • sir_c

    Sure these guys won’t bough for some slug pellets

  • Nukenado

    By the way, just reportin’:
    Drew currently has an average rating of 3.125.

    You have amazing promo selection luck.

    • Tell me about it yo. This has been a pretty badass ride thus far.

    • Kronos

      HR is ready to deploy the device.