|Review: Slough Feg - New Organon|
Label: Cruz Del Sur Music
Year released: 2019
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: May 24, 2019
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (4 Votes)
The Lord Weird Slough Feg is a band that should be well known to long-time Metal Crypt readers as their early albums have garnered several 5/5 ratings here. I've never gone back and listened to classics like Down Among the Deadmen or Hardworlder because there are only so many hours in the day to cram with metal and there is new stuff constantly coming out. That is why I was stoked to get the band's 2019 album, New Organon, in my review queue recently. How do they sound to someone that has never heard them before? Weird (pun intended).
I can't comment on previous works, obviously, but New Organon is certainly eclectic. The album starts with some epic, pounding cuts like "Headhunter" and "The Apology." The production is dry but seems to enhance the lead work of guitarist Mike Scalzi and Angelo Maestas. It is unequivocally stellar. Scalzi's vocals are a different matter. He's got an interesting voice that sounds like a cross between Mark Shelton's reedy midrange and Dee Snider's warbling screams. Dee Snider sings Manilla Road? Check out "Discourse on Equality" when Scalzi lets loose and tell me it doesn't sound like Dee on Twisted Sister cuts like "Burn in Hell." The vocal lines are equally strange, taking multiple listens to sink in and really sound "right" for many of the songs. Towards the end of New Organon, things get really adventurous. "Coming of Age in the Milky Way" sounds like something from a 70s AM radio compilation while "Exegesis – Tragic Hooligan" and "The Cynic" have such simplified chord structures they could be from a Buddy Holly or Bill Haley and the Comets song. I find myself alternately shaking my head in bemusement and getting into it, because I grew up on this stuff.
All this makes New Organon hard to rate. You've got Slough Feg bravely pushing boundaries but often coming up with things that aren't bad, just really weird (there's that word again). There are songs I like, but I am not really sure why and others that I don't like but not vehemently. In the end, I think this is an album that most fans will either love or hate. Your mileage will wildly vary.
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Interview with Mike Scalzi (Guitars/Vocals) on November 9, 2003 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with Mike Scalzi (Vocals, guitar) on December 22, 2010 (Interviewed by Adam Kohrman)
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