Hotlanta and Sludge make for a predictable combination. The unbearable Georgia heat allows for ample comparison to the blazing riffs and drum work that smother this release, and with little doubt WITHERED have much to offer before fading into the scorching metal sun.
Mike Longoria’s bass lines span the entire neck during each track’s valleys, but Chris Freeman and Mike Thompson lay down some mountainous riffs worthy of notice. The principle driver on this road trip is Beau Brandon, whose fluid drum work thickens each track, places firm borders around the principle parts, and ties everything together. His bursts of speed and dynamic approach give listeners several healthy snacks along the way while the vocalists yammer on in a typical blend of guttural, raspy, and clean phrasings.
“Folie Circulaire” flows like an inflatable raft down a molten stream of lava. The ride is bumpy and short, but worth the drive for Sludge aficionados and fans of other genres in need of a quick vacation. The opening stretch of the journey includes three monstrous tracks spanning from “. . . The Fated Breath” to “Gnosis Unveils . . . .” These songs express plenty of apprehensiveness and anticipation while the latter half of the disc unveils a rich landscape of unique riffs and equivocal tension. The release’s bookends frame an exciting adventure that others attempt to script with limited success.
With little doubt “Folie Circulaire” represents one of 2008’s finer releases, especially for those inclined to integrate some Sludge into their discography. Those in love with instrumental passages that build into brutal volcanic eruptions may overlook newer works from ISIS and NEUROSIS in order to give this one a try.
(Online July 22, 2008)