The third full length effort from the Portuguese doomsters Process of Guilt, Fæmin is a textbook example of all the virtues of sludge metal put to good use.
The album opens very strongly with 'Empire', which features perhaps one of the longest buildups known to man, and – in a sludge metal context – this works well, and when they finally change from th opening riff to another riff, it has a realy powerful effect on the listener. The rest of the song consists of slow and heavy riffs. 'Blindfold' is a slightly more melodic affair, while 'Harvest' combines the dissonance of noise rock with the heaviness of sludge-doom, and 'Cleanse' is an atmospheric affair, and the title track also offers up some powerful doomy and sludgy riffs.
We are dealing with music which is crushingly heavy, but not really slow like in much doom metal, and the riffs styles often remind me of Roots-era Sepultura's primitive so-called tribal metal, but played at half speed. The vocals are not melodic, but more of a hardcore style yelling, and the tracks are quite long. Given this and the fact that one of the main ingredients in the music on this album is repetitionFæmin, like so many other sludge albums, is in danger of becoming boring and monotonous to listeners who do not understand sludge metal. Then again, those very same features that might turn the uninitiated off are likely to turn the seasoned sludge fan on.
So, sludge fans should definitely check this album out. It might not challenge you as much as some of the really experimental sludge stuff does, but it does feature all the genre-defining elements.