After tweaking and fortifying it since 2012, Sloth Herder‘s venomous sound becomes fully actualized on the band’s debut LP, aptly titled No Pity, No Sunrise.
Despite their slightly humorous name, there is nothing quirky or lighthearted to be found on this full-length. This Maryland-bred quartet’s self-proclaimed “powerslob” style feverishly weaves together Gorgutsian angularity and dissonance, 90s hardcore and mathcore volatility, and grindcore’s intensity into a unique, dark and gruesome sound. The album’s unpredictable and inherently dismal nature is perfect for the die-hard misanthrope, or the residents of psychiatric hospitals.
The album immediately subjects the listener to auditory chaos with a swirling murk of abrasive guitars and frantic percussion on “Antipathic Grades”. The song begins with a dense wall of dissonant instrumentation that breeds shape-shifting guitar riffs that parody thrash, groove and melody, and then top everything off with off-kilter rhythms and disfigured shapes. The song, and frankly the entire record, has quite the identity crisis as it shifts unexpectedly from schizoid grind to death metal’s answer to Deadguy. These manic stylistic shifts are meticulously crafted and work in the band’s favor, and are topped off by vocalist Josh Lyon’s throat-searing vocals which spew verbal corrosive acid in every direction.
Following “Antipathic Grades” is the one-two punch of “Doli Incapax” and “Agnosiak”. The former of the two opens with a sinister, yet melodic dirge before exploding into an unyielding assault of bestial, malformed guitars. The latter of the two features a three-part attack of ugly death metal, pseudo black metal stampedes and old-school hardcore mosh anthems. The record continues to become more and more vicious as it goes along. Tracks like “Prijedor” feature lurching, aberrated sludge riffs that are rife with spiraling, dissonant leads, which are destined to cause a sensory overload in listeners. Then there are tracks like “Burial Ethic”, which really nod to Gorguts with their displays of angular, atonal melodies and abysmal sprawling hell.
No Pity, No Sunrise is consistently heavy, unforgiving and malevolent throughout its 36-minute runtime. Even its instrumental interludes, which could have distracted from the album at any time, seem to fit seamlessly with the album’s flow. Sloth Herder just deal out one dark and deadly track after the other, making for a relentless album that will enamor the most masochistic of individuals.
Release Date: March 24, 2017
Label: Grimoire Records
Favorite Tracks: “Antipathic Grades”, “Prijedor”, “Whoresblood”, “Burial Ethic” and “Privation”
For Fans of: Deadguy, Dendritic Arbor, Gorguts, Piss Vortex, Spurn and Gaza