This northern California sludge-metal outfit trudges morosely down a path carved by acts like Eyehategod, Acid Bath, and Iron Monkey, which makes their inclusion of a song called "Nineties Male" on this album something of a bitter joke. While the sound they make isn't bad -- their riffs combine the heaviness of Black Sabbath with the concussive force of hardcore punk, and the drummer slams like a screen door in a hurricane -- it's not terribly original, either. The vocalist's anguished howls have been heard many times before, and without a lyric sheet, the listener will be hard-pressed to figure out what songs like "Tramp Stamp," "Kilimanjaro Dreamin'," or the title track are meant to convey. The one truly interesting idea they have is the penultimate track, a 13-minute instrumental called "Heterodox Nonconformists" that's like a cross between Godflesh's "Pure II" and Neil Young's soundtrack to the movie Dead Man. Ending the album there would have been a good idea, but the Sloths offer one more song, the three-minute, one-riff "The Timely Death of Billy Mays." Fans of sludgy doom metal as a genre will likely embrace the Abominable Iron Sloth -- they've got a great band name, after all -- but it's hard to imagine them winning many mainstream metal fans.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Phil Freeman