Los Angeles doom duo Slog render dark rituals and bring forth a bleak harvest on their second album, Divination.
Slog is Nicholas Turner (strings) and Jared Moran (drums, vocals). These two prolific musicians created the Graves album in 2021 as the first instantiation of Slog. Grim tidings that one was, and no mistake. They return now with disturbing music to menace your waking moments and trouble your dreams.
“Illuminated Expansion” begins like a dark lullaby, quiet and creepy. The music twists increasingly as the bars pass, souring, metastasizing. Two minutes in the doom droops like a cloudburst. The creepy tones continue, and the vocals are a grating groan from the pits of the netherworld. The song continues, and transforms – it speeds up, infuses a lead break, and takes new ground, ultimately ending on a screaming crescendo. Next, we hear “Synthesis Sequencer,” and it starts off completely differently, choosing an all-guns-blazing entrance and flesh-raking riffs. Doom does hit in this track, but the tempo never slows to the level of the opener. “Creeping Flora” takes us down a different path, offering black metal at the doorstep and a heavy press thereafter, underpinned by a knowing clomp. The way heavy styles are mixed and integrated in these songs accentuate a delightful musical wickedness.
More enchantments await as the set continues. Each song breeds new interest and engages a broad range of ideas demonstrating over and again the immediacy and pliancy these compositions embrace. The journey is inveigling in a way, as it always finds an avenue that is irresistible. “Theurgy Equinox” stands out for its ethereal guitar and haunting vocals while “Labyrinth Amulet” is a straight-up terrorizer. “Eucharistic Purification” is the final word and the longest track on the album. It might also be the most schizophrenic. The extended quiet closing moments work an hypnotic effect. Recommended.
Divination is out on Friday, January 13th through Morbid and Miserable Records and Transylvanian Recordings. Have a look for yourself at the links below.
Morbid and Miserable Records, https://morbidandmiserable.storenvy.com/
Transylvanian Recordings, https://transylvaniantapes.bandcamp.com/
© Wayne Edwards