Now, I must admit that sludge metal can at times get rather tiresome and monotonous to listen to because of the focus on bleakness and the harsh, often atonal, vocals. Fortunately, there are still plenty of bands out there that make sure that sludge metal is kept interesting and does not become totally monotonous. One of these bands is the American stoner-doom-sludge act Ichabod who recently released their newest album Dreamscapes From Dead Space .
The album is actually quite progressively inclined. There is still focus on southern grooves and the drive of '70s hard rock. However, the song structures are quite dynamic, with mellow passages inserted into many of them, and a track like "Epiphany" even has a nice exotic feel to it. Although we are not dealing with music that is progressive in the sense that it is very technical – because most of the riffs on this album are straightforward, and down and dirty, and groovy as fuck – there are still a couple of surprising changes and little surprises every now and then.
Fans of '90s alternative metal should also like this album, as, in addition to the many '70s hard rock-inspired figures it feature, there are several passages that have the same introspective but powerful groove that you would hear on releases by '90s alternative metal acts such as Soundgarden and Corrosion of Conformity. Rather than the harsh hardcore-derived singing styles of many sludge bands, Ichabod makes use of clean vocals with the same vulnerability and attitude of much '70s alternative metal, and this works perfectly.
I imagine that this album will appeal to fans of sludge metal and alternative metal alike, and if you like groovy hard rock with a progressive twits, it should also be right up your alley. It is a very well put together album indeed.
2. Looking Glass
3. Baba Yaga
5. Hollow God
6. All Your Love
8. Return of the Hag