Russian label RAIG kicked 2011 into high gear with a trio of absolutely stellar releases. First, they brought us the debut album The Hierophant, from Asheville, North Carolina's Enoch, then they served up the latest opus from Peruvian doom outfit El Hijo De La Aurora entitled, Wicca- Spells, Magic and Witchcraft Through The Ages. Now, last but by no means least, they've brought us a humble offering from their native country, which comes in the form of a new band called Without God.
Formed in Moscow in 2008, Without God which consists of Anton (guitars, vocals), Olga (guitars), Ivan (drums) and Victor (bass), have been hard at work laying the foundation for this debut effort, by issuing a couple of demo recordings as well as contributing to RAIG's download compilation, Dirgenera Compendium II. With Lambs To The Slaughter they are poised to take the next step and blow the doors wide open in their quest for global recognition.
If you're a hardcore fan of doom and sludge infested metal then I can assure you that you won't be disappointed by this ten track offering. If you took the plodding, dirge like rhythms and unbridled heaviness of a band like Crowbar and mixed that with heaping doses of massive sounding, Sabbath infused riffs, that would probably give you the best idea of what these guys bring to the table. The main and certainly the most important thing that sets these promising musicians apart from the rest of the pack, is that they understand the importance of writing good quality songs, which is a vital ingredient I find that is often missing from a lot of bands operating in this genre of music. Oh sure, they serve up a whack load of feedback fueled, head banging jams that makes acid washed, wah-wah drenched guitars solos a top priority. Blend that all together with Anton's gravelly, tortured sounding vocal delivery, grooves that are layered so thick that you couldn't cut through them even if you tried, and you've got yourself a winner. The best part of the ride though is even as you make your way through the crushing anthems "They Rot", "Space Weed" and "Burn In Hell", you never get the feeling that it sounds formulaic in any way. These ten jams are so punishing and all encompassing that I swear I could almost feel the blood, sweat, beer and piss cocktail oozing right out of my speakers. Yeah, it's that effective.
I've said it a previous review and I'll gladly say it again. If this is in any way an indication of what RAIG has in store for the rest of the year, then 2011 is looking like it's going to be one hell of a kick ass year for these guys, because they keep bringing us great, new music time and time again. After listening to Lambs To The Slaughter you get the feeling that Without God is standing on the edge of greatness and believe me if they put together another opus that is as solid as this one is from beginning to end, by the time the dust has settled, they will have effectively crossed over to the other side.
1) They Rot
3) Space Weed
5) Crossroads / Eat The Shit
6) Burn In Hell
7) Forgiveness Sunday
9) Alter Of Medicine