Every time I receive a bunch of promos in the mail I browse through them to get a general idea of what Iíve gotten and of course to anticipate on what albums I think will please me the most. When I encountered this fourth release by SWITCHBLADE the name didnít ring a bell, but the brilliant photography in the booklet as well as the description on the promo sheet resulted in a top listing on my anticipation list.
But what a disappointment! SWITCHBLADE sound is extremely slow, which can be great if not for the thin guitar sound. When you rely on very slow and sludgy riffs, the most important thing in my opinion is to have an absolutely earth-shaking heavy and crunchy sound; like the masters of SUNN 0))). Yet SWITCHBLADE sound mainly on the first song is way too thin, rendering the music quite boring. The band said they wanted the riffs to be able to breathe and sadly they succeed at that way too good.
There are also a few vocals, done by E of WATAIN and LOGHís Mattias Friberg. While they do enhance the atmosphere I still feel that they couldíve been much better, more powerful, more frightening. The second song starts with some 7 minutes of soft feedback before continuing their Sludge. For a long time it isnít much better until about the 10 minute mark when they shift into second gear. Still very slow of course but this does make their sound heavier and as the song progresses it becomes a lot more enjoyable to listen too, but still not brilliant.
Itís not the ultra slow playing that makes SWITCHBLADEís fourth a disappointment, itís just the sound thatís way too thin. I actually really like this style when played with a heavy sound and am a big fan of SUNN 0))) and EARTH. As a matter of fact, a friend of mine and me made Drone/Sludge ourselves under the banner of SYNDRONE. Still, this album makes me curious as to how their older albums sound. I also think they can deliver a crushing live performance, but this one misses the mark for me. If you still play this, turn the volume HIGH. (Online March 18, 2006)