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Slimelord “Chytridiomycosis Relinquished” Album Review By Josh Phillips

Slimelord band

Chytridiomycosis Relinquished is a weird album. How could a record named after a disease affecting amphibians not be bizarre? The music located herein is at least as non-traditional as the title, making for a tricky album to listen to, much less review. Sharing three members with Technical Death/Thrash band Cryptic Shift, Slimelord is almost a complete inversion of that project. If the raison d’etre of Cryptic Shift is to use traditional Extreme Metal structures, riffs, and melodies to transport the listener to the outer realms of space and time, Slimelord’s purpose is to skirt the boundaries in order to surprise them and carry them down into the chasms below the Earth into a landscape of primordial pits.

As mentioned above, Slimelord’s debut album follows largely non-traditional structures which can be challenging. Rather than write songs per se, the approach seems to be to generate atmosphere which can be quite subjective and the success of which is bound to differ between listeners. This is not only non-melodic Death/Doom, but often not even riff-driven. Massive, monolithic, grinding riffs are what I look for in this style of music (see for example Morbid Stench’s The Rotting Ways of Doom – a recent favorite of mine), but that is generally not the focus here with the guitars often taking a meandering, dissonant approach. The music on Chytridiomycosis Relinquished seems to often be propelled forward as much by the vocals, drums, or even lead guitar as by the mighty riff. No doubt, strong riffs do appear such as through the midsection of Tidal Slaughtermarsh or the latter portion of Gut-Brain Axis but they don’t generally form the backbone of entire songs.

With the above in mind, much of the enjoyment a listener receives from the album will be in direct proportion to the importance to them of traditional song structures and elements. Those tend to be quite important to me as I like my Death Metal and Death/Doom to be more straightforward. Having said that, I can see the appeal in what Slimelord is doing. The music is demanding and requires attention, but when given (and given repeatedly) there is a great deal to explore on  Chytridiomycosis Relinquished. It is an album with nooks and crannies of musical tidbits spread all across its aural landscape. There is excellent lead guitar work, rhythmic and pummeling drumming, warm bass, and putrid vocals all exploring their own chasms before re-joining the expedition in driven and focused passages. What they found is only to be discovered with numerous listens.

For a rather traditional and straight-forward Metalhead, Slimelord’s Chytridiomycosis Relinquished is a challenging listen. But the sign of many a good work is that it gets stronger the more you come back to it and that seems to be the case here. On repeat listens, I’ve found more and more elements of interest. Most importantly, however, I think the overall atmosphere of the album is a success. The record works as an experience.

Josh’s Rating: 7.5/10

Slimelord album

Chytridiomycosis Relinquished Track Listing:

  1. The Beckoning Bell
  2. Gut-Brain Axis
  3. Splayed Mudscape
  4. Batrachomorpha Resurrections Chamber
  5. The Hissing Moor
  6. Tidal Slaughtermarsh
  7. Heroic Demise

SLIMELORD:
Andrew Ashworth – vocals
Alexander Bradley – guitars, vocals
Ryan Sheperson – drums
John Riley – bass
Krystian Zamojski – guitars

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