Sadgiqacea is a two-piece sludge metal band from Philadelphia, and Submerged in Manichea was their first EP. This release is a 25 minute journey through the darkest depths of sludge metal, filled with killer riffs, teriffic vocals, and a remarkable dynamic level. The fact that this much noise (and quite beautiful noise, at that) can be created by a duo is truly remarkable - both members of Sadgiqacea would fit under my definition of top-notch musicians. I had the pleasure of seeing these guys live at a local venue just a few days ago, and they absolutely killed it. They were energetic, tight, and at the top of their game. A bit of material from Submerged in Manichea was played at the concert, and I remember that the crowd really went crazy during "A Piercing Numb". Seeing Sadgiqacea in a venue with around 20 dedicated listeners really is a must-have experience for anyone in the Philadelphia area.
The music on Submerged in Manichea is a mix of sludge metal, doom metal, psychedelic/stoner rock, and even a touch of post metal. A band like Neurosis would probably be a good comparison to Sadgiqacea. These guys aren't your standard Neurosis rip-off, though. They have their own sound and execute it pretty damn well. I really love all three songs here (though "A Piercing Numb" is probably my favorite by a narrow margin), and the musicianship is stellar. The group only consists of Fred Grabosky on drums and vocals and Evan Schaefer on guitar, bass, and vocals; yet the sound here is complete and could very well be disguised as a 4 or 5 piece band. Fred Grabosky's drumming is fantastic - he manages to be hard-hitting and powerful, yet still deliver more technically demanding parts as well. Evan Schaefer's guitarwork (and bass playing) is also excellent. He really knows how to create some lush soundscapes with his instrument! When I saw Sadgiqacea live, he only played a single guitar during the whole show, using a lot of distortion pedals and equipment to create tons of different sounds and overlay his fretwork in a live setting. That was a lot of fun to watch, especially when you're only a few feet away from him. Vocally, Sadgiqacea delivers somewhere between shouting and clean singing (with the occasional growl in there), reminding me a tad of the "Viking metal" acts that adore that sort of vocal style.
Production-wise, Submerged in Manichea is as raw as can be. The vocals are somewhat low in the mix, the guitars sound filthy, and the drums sound heavy and clear. This is the perfect sound for this kind of music.
I've been really into Sadgiqacea lately, and Submerged in Manichea may be the best introduction into the band's spectacular music. After all, it's available for free from the band's BandCamp page, so there really is no reason not to check it out. Groups like this make me proud that I'm from the Philadelphia area - I'd put Sadgiqacea up there as one of the best sludge bands on the international scene right now. This one comes highly recommended and with a big 4 star rating. I'll be keeping a close eye on this band, eagerly awaiting whatever is up their sleeves next. Any fan of absolutely filthy, yet still melodic, sludge metal needs to head over to the band's BandCamp and get this one now!
1. Cerebral Pulp (The Blackening) (9:21)
2. A Piercing Numb (9:20)
3. Carpe Noctem (6:30)
Total Time 25:11