The Swedish doom metal/sludge trio known as Snailking are back with their latest platter of oozing fuzz titled Storm. If you checked out their 2011 debut Samsara, you should be well aware of what these guys are all about, as they have a penchant for creating long, sludge laden doom metal songs that rely on plodding drum beats, agonizing riffs soaked in distortion, rumbling bass, and tortured vocals. It's all really heavy stuff for sure, though with so many bands out there doing a similar style there's not a hell of a lot that separates Snailking from the pack, but with riffs these crushing, it's hard not to take notice. "Premonitions" shows their love for Saint Vitus, as monolithic power chords steeped in fuzz lay waste to the landscape, while "Slithering" offers up a slightly more uptempo arrangement that again features some great riffing. The main problem is, and this is a trait indicative of the sub-genre as a whole, many of these songs are just way longer than they need to be. "Requiem" is a perfect example of a song that has plenty of elements to like, such as creepy atmospheric interludes as well as grand, massive doom riffs, but at 17-minutes it could have easily been cut in half and been just as effective. "To Wonder" also could have been trimmed a bit; as it is, the song is a great slice of doom/sludge, but how much better could it have been at 5-minutes instead of 11? Closer "Void" just meanders a bit too much for my taste, as it's easily the most tranquil track on the CD. Overall there's lots to like here on Storm, but I can't help but feel this band needs to reel themselves in, just a little, to make their music a bit more cohesive. They've certainly got the power and chops to make a statement, but they are asking for a lot of patience from the listener. Just my two cents.
1) To Wonder