|Review: Slough Feg - Atavism|
Label: Cruz Del Sur Music
Year released: 2005
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: May 27, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 3.16/5 (63.18%) (44 Votes)
The release of a new Slough Feg album is always a cause for joy and revelry. Over four (now five) albums, this band has defiantly forged into new territory and created their own inimitable sound. They are one of the most unique bands in metal, and one of the most consistently challenging, which is why it pains me to admit that this album is not their best work.
Make no mistake, "Atavism" is never bad, never cliché or derivative of any other band. But it is more than a little derivative of the band's other albums. If you are a big Slough Feg fan, like I am, there are going to be a lot of places on this CD where you swear you have heard the song before. Things start off well with the catchy but too short "Robostus", then it kicks in with the classic "I Will Kill You/You Will Die". The instrumental "Portcullis" is OK, but not terribly memorable. Fortunately it is followed by "Hiberno-Latin Invasion", which despite the odd title, is not only the best cut on the album, but one of the best Slough Feg Songs ever, right up there with "The Red Branch" and "Psionic Illumination" – it rules completely.
From this high point, things decline into less memorable tracks like the rather dull title track, and "Curse Of Athena". "Eumaeus The Swineherd" perks things up a bit, but from there it is all kind of a blur of too-short and too-similar songs like "Agnostic Grunt" and "High Season V". The medley-style "Atavism II" closes things out on a strong note, but really the album never regains the momentum after track 4.
There are some killer songs on here, and it is pure Slough Feg all the way, but this is nowhere near the unqualified brilliance of "Traveller" or "Down Among The Deadmen". Overall "Atavism" has some great stuff, but too much of it feels rushed, and can only be termed filler. It is Slough Feg filler, which is better than the best stuff most bands ever produce, but I happen to know this band is capable of much, much more.
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