Dukatalon - Saved By Fear
14 February 2010

01. Peis
02. Run
03. ZX
04. Vagabond
05. Saved By Fear
06. Electric Site
07. Gate Of Mind
08. Mekonenet

So hailing from the deep south … err, wait... Israel. Sorry. Seems most sludge albums I've been reviewing lately come from the deep south so it was automatic reaction. Oops.

Anyways, hailing from "the Riff-Filled Land" (or at least the vicinity thereof) by way of Relapse Records we find the sludgy-sludgemeisters of Dukatalon. I am not sure of the origin of the band's name, but I am fairly certain it's ancient Sumerian for "a mighty beast the size of a double-decker bus which crushes all things underfoot and leaves not enough remains for even dental records to ID". But I could be wrong.

On Saved By Fear the band crushes all things under foot. Or rather, under riff. Even the vocals are drowned out by the wall of sonic force emanating from six strings, four strings, and pounding drums. They aren't super fast - if anything their riffs generally mid-paced to slow . They are just heavy. The kind that register on the Richter scale and cause local seismologists to freak out whenever the album is played at volume. In addition to plodding force, the band use space to allow it all to go awash in distortion and feedback giving it some stoner psychedelic edge. Which works. After being bludgeoned about the head and neck for 45 minutes, you'll be seeing imaginary double rainbows in your living room/bed room/troll cave/whatever it is you misanthropes listen to your music. (For comparison, think Ufomammut meets old High On Fire. Or old Eyehategod)

As a literal change of pace, the primary opening/closing riff to the aptly-named "Run" does stand out as it sees the band go leadfoot and push down on the accelerator. This intro isn't the "...Long Distance Runner" kind of run, either. It's the "Porkchop Sandwiches! Run for your fucking lives - we're about to be trampled by a rampaging Dukatalon on a meth bender! Gogogo!" kind of riff.

They also change the pace in another direction with the nice, beautiful, warm, sunny, acoustic title track for a brief intermission so the band can catch their breath before continuing to flail away with axes, drum sticks, and microphone stands at their human-pinata listener.

In closing, the band ain't the most original - but they are effective. Highly effective. I've reviewed a couple really good 2010 releases from some of the leading artists in the sludge/stoner field and I'd put this one right alongside the rest of them. Definitely worth checking out if slow, deep, and hard is your thing.

It seems Relapse will be releasing this album on December 14th - just in time to find it's way under your Festivus aluminum pole. And if you are lucky enough to get a copy, I'm sure just listening to it qualifies for your "feat of strength."

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Written on 01.12.2010 by
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
More reviews by BitterCOld ››


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Marcel Hubregtse - 01.12.2010 at 10:17  
Need to check this out.
Deadsoulman - 01.12.2010 at 15:50  
I see why you're emphasizing the riffs. My Cod this is heavy and catchy. The catchiness reminds me a lot of High On Fire, no wonder Relapse got this band signed.
K†ulu - 01.12.2010 at 16:15  
Gonna check this out. Sounds interesting. By the way, metal archives report a different release date (2009) and cover art for this album. And actually their blog says it is going to be release on Dec 14 of this year...
BitterCOld - 01.12.2010 at 18:30  
Written by K†ulu on 01.12.2010 at 16:15

Gonna check this out. Sounds interesting. By the way, metal archives report a different release date (2009) and cover art for this album. And actually their blog says it is going to be release on Dec 14 of this year...

in 2009 300 copies were released in Israel by a small label. so this is the first time the rest of us get a chance to pick up a copy. and the new artwork is definitely better and more fitting a release from one of "the bigs."
oroboros - 04.12.2010 at 12:19  
This is insane, the sound is massively heavy. How & where do you find all these crazy sludgy bands?
BudDa - 08.12.2010 at 09:20  
The album is also currently streaming via the decibel blog with a track by track commentary at this location
Axe Argonian - 01.02.2011 at 01:54  
This is a damn good debut album. Dukatalon is officially on my "watch list".
IronAngel - 03.02.2011 at 23:58  
I was sure I'd vote for Ramesses in the MS Awards, but checking the few albums I didn't already know revealed this to be a really strong competitor. The sound is awesome, I like the vocals, and the riffs are good. My only issue is that we've heard this all before, and I don't think they're doing much to leave their personal mark on sludge. I guess I agree with this review on most accounts, then.
Spirit Molecule - 24.05.2011 at 06:38  
Man these guys are freaking awesome. Heavy as fuck!
There isn't one song on the album that i felt shouldn't have been there.
Definitely a good find for relapse.

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