Spaceslug - Reign Of The Orion review




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Reviewer:
8.0

11 users:
7.18
Band: Spaceslug
Album: Reign Of The Orion
Release date: December 2019


01. Down To The Sun
02. Spacerunner
03. Half-Moon Burns
04. Trees Of Gold
05. Beneath The Haze


Another year, another quality Spaceslug release.

Since Lemanis dropped in 2016, this Polish stoner metal trio has reliably pumped out new albums annually, plus an EP or two along the way. Their particular brand of laidback, unrushed, yet not overly jammy hard rock/metal has thankfully turned out to be a rich well; 2017's Time Travel Dilemma is arguably the most complete realization of their sound thus far, but each record has been fully worthy of the attention of anyone with any interest in this musical area. Additionally, whilst never reinventing themselves, they've added in bits and pieces to their sound along the way to spice things up. Eye The Tide introduced harsh vocal cameos, plus the odd blast beat once in a blue moon, and both that record and this year's contribution to the Polish stoner metal 4 Way Split, "Ahtmosphere", have seen Spaceslug add an increasingly melancholic element to what had previously been a more psychedelic, fuzzy experience. In its relatively brief runtime, Reign Of The Orion traverses each of these aspects of the band's sound to typically good effect.

"Down To The Sun" is more in the Lemanis/Time Travel Dilemma vein of rolling, fuzzy riffs to space out too. On the flip side, "SpaceRunner" has a more delicate, mellow tone, with its dainty guitar motif and groovy bass. The patient development of this song, as separate layers almost imperceptibly flesh out the sound to breaking point until it overflows and some heavy chords get unleashed, is something I don't really remember hearing from the band before, and is impressively judged, with just enough progression to avoid feeling repetitive, and just enough release to feel cathartic without completely letting loose.

"Half-Moon Burns" is less restrained, building for a minute before unleashing the fuzz and some more strained vocals to contrast the sedate, soporific style that so dominates the band's sound. This is the track that nudges closest to the intensity the band displayed on Eye The Tide's "Words Like Stones", yet at the same time is perhaps the song on the album that most effectively captures the 'uncertain traveller venturing into the black unknown' vibe that Spaceslug pull off when at their best (the Blade Runner 'tears in the rain' sample doesn't hurt).

The few users of this website already familiar with Spaceslug (there are a whole 5 fans of their page here at the time of writing, myself included) will not be surprised by what they hear on Reign Of The Orion, and whilst they may not be stunned, I doubt anyone previously fond the band's work is going to be disappointed by this latest effort. It doesn't quite rival Time Travel Dilemma for me, but as the repetitive, crushing riffs that dominate the closing moments of the album on "Beneath The Haze" push relentlessly on, I find myself once again immersed and transported in a way that most of the onslaught of up-and-coming stoner doom bands could only dream of pulling off.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


 



Written on 09.12.2019 by I'm just a guy with an opinion.


Comments

Comments: 7   Visited by: 54 users
09.12.2019 - 22:55
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
As much as I thought the harsh vocals and the other extreme metal elements weren't that well blended in on the previous album, I was curious to see if they would attempt to do that again, hopefully with better results.
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Sometimes you need a little wishful thinking just to keep on living.
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09.12.2019 - 23:07
musclassia
Written by RaduP on 09.12.2019 at 22:55

As much as I thought the harsh vocals and the other extreme metal elements weren't that well blended in on the previous album, I was curious to see if they would attempt to do that again, hopefully with better results.


They're more muted now - none of the brief blasting bits, it's mainly on that track 3 there's parts where the vocals get kinda harsh, I think it works nicer here than it ever did on Eye The Tide. They're not a band that really needs it, but I think on that song they find a happier medium where the intensity makes sense, but is also fairly limited so as not to mess with the vibe too much.
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09.12.2019 - 23:34
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
I'm not gonna lie, the name of this band drew me in. Something about the idea of slugs in space just seems as though it'd make for some quality, tripped out jamz.

Good review, there haven't been too many stoner metal releases on my radar this year for whatever reason so I'm definitely up for discovering more of what's been pumped out thus far in that department.
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"A dog wags its tail when it's pleased and growls when it's angry. I growl when I'm pleased and wag my tail when I'm angry. Therefore, I'm mad."
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09.12.2019 - 23:39
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Apothecary on 09.12.2019 at 23:34

I'm not gonna lie, the name of this band drew me in. Something about the idea of slugs in space just seems as though it'd make for some quality, tripped out jamz.

Good review, there haven't been too many stoner metal releases on my radar this year for whatever reason so I'm definitely up for discovering more of what's been pumped out thus far in that department.

You've got some catching up
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Sometimes you need a little wishful thinking just to keep on living.
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10.12.2019 - 14:15
musclassia
Written by Apothecary on 09.12.2019 at 23:34

I'm not gonna lie, the name of this band drew me in. Something about the idea of slugs in space just seems as though it'd make for some quality, tripped out jamz.

Good review, there haven't been too many stoner metal releases on my radar this year for whatever reason so I'm definitely up for discovering more of what's been pumped out thus far in that department.


If you fancy a peak at their sound, I think the "Time Travel Dilemma" title track is a nice demonstration of what they're generally about - if you like that, most of their stuff is in a similar vein, with occasional trips into more intense or melancholy territory.
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10.12.2019 - 16:44
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by musclassia on 10.12.2019 at 14:15

If you fancy a peak at their sound, I think the "Time Travel Dilemma" title track is a nice demonstration of what they're generally about

Yeah I just scoped that, pretty nice indeed! Mellow, chillaxed jamz
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"A dog wags its tail when it's pleased and growls when it's angry. I growl when I'm pleased and wag my tail when I'm angry. Therefore, I'm mad."
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11.12.2019 - 09:06
Cynic Metalhead
Atrocious Virgin
Written by Apothecary on 09.12.2019 at 23:34

there haven't been too many stoner metal releases on my radar this year for whatever reason so I'm definitely up for discovering more of what's been pumped out thus far in that department.


Along with RaduP recs(which I've to check out soon), there are handful of releases I liked - Monolord's No Comfort, new Skraeckoedlan, Methadone Skies - Different Layers Of Fear or may be new Torche.
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