[18th February 2014]
[Metal Blade Records]
01. Analogue Avengers / Bertrand Russell’s Sex Den
02. Digital Resistance
03. Habeas Corpsus
04. Magic Hooligan
05. Ghastly Appendage
06. Laser Enforcer
07. The Price Is Nice
08. Curriculum Vitae
09. The Luddite
10. Warrior’s Dusk
Slough Feg (or The Lord Weird Slough Feg for their first ten or so years) are a long running metal band who never gained much in the way of fame but have a pretty devoted cult following. The band have been active since 1990, and released their first album in 1996. 18 years of heavy metal glory later, including some excellent works in the form of the albums Traveller and Down Among the Deadmen, the band last week released their 9th studio album, titled Digital Resistance, on Metal Blade Records.
Slough Feg sound like a heavier version of Thin Lizzy, and with more focus on Celtic fantasy lyrics. Digital Resistance does not stray away from that sound at all. It is a retro throwback the likes of which one would expect from the late 70s, except with modern production values.
On first listen, this album sounded pretty lame, with seemingly boring and same-y songwriting, and a lack of energy. Based on the first impression, this album would have been given a score of 50% or so, which is a pretty weak showing for a band with such a storied career as Slough Feg – but there is a reason why one should never give an album a score based on one listen; more listens revealed more and more of the album’s strengths. Digital Resistance is one of those albums that grows on you the more you hear it.
The title track is probably the best song on the album; it has a really high energy riff, and some spectacular drumming moments – and indeed, the drumming on the whole album is really quite good, adding energetic fills and keeping the groove locked when it needs to. “Habeus Corpus” feels almost like it should be on the soundtrack to The Good The Bad and The Ugly or something, with tense rhythms, acoustic guitar strumming, desolate bluesy leads, and some dusty vocal melodies from Mike Scalzi, whilst “Ghastly Appendage” contains a very odd and excellent guitar melody, and the vocal melodies are equally catchy.
Perhaps the reason the band has not run out of ideas is that they keep their albums short and sweet. Digital Resistance clocks in at 40 minutes, and not a moment sounds redundant or unnecessary. The guitar lead harmonies are really nicely done, and reminiscent of Thin Lizzy, or even early Judas Priest. The production on this album is really nice as well. There isn’t a whole lot to say about it other than that, which means that it is doing what it is supposed to.
For a band that is nearly 25 years old, Slough Feg continue to find ways to pull good music out of their hats. While Digital Resistance isn’t groundbreaking, nor is it an amazing album, it is one of those albums that will dig a small hook into your mind, and then one day you will find that you are rocking out to songs like “Laser Enforcer” when you should be going to sleep and enjoying every single glorious minute of it. There is the occasional song such as “The Price is Nice” where nothing really jumps out at the listener, but overall, Digital Resistance is a enjoyable album.
Best songs: “Digital Resistance” “Laser Enforcer” “Habeus Corpus”