1. Vi Vi Vi
2. Chaos Bastard
4. Bury My Dog
5. Yi Zi Er Shi
6. Cogumelo Blue
10. Extinction Forums
SLAB hails from Birmingham, UK. Their debut album is titled “Betray The Past.. Infect The Future”. And if nothing else, they will most certainly infect the future with pure metal. The pure and raw, bundled energy in their music is combined with terrific performance and it all fits together. Metal is a genre of music that is usually limited to a select group of listeners, but SLAB makes a kind of metal that you can’t go around. It is pure and it is top quality.
Vi Vi Vi
This is the intro to the album. You hear a distorted signal that leads into the actual first track of the album.
Originally called Kaos Bastard this track already shows the sheer talent this band has. It almost sounds easy, but there’s a lot of effort and energy put in a song like this. Timing is as close to perfect as possible and unlike the majority of the metal bands out there, SLAB makes a very tight and well-composed track.
Next up is Facebreak which starts with an intro that hints to Classic Rock. You almost expect a Jethro Tull or Led Zeppelin kind of haunting sound to follow it up. But there’s the surprise, the intro keeps going on and stays the underline throughout most of the song, building up momentums. At around 3.20 into the song the momentum is reached. This song could be classified as progressive metal. It’s a very intelligent song that is well-performed. The way it is divided in different stages takes a lot of precision to get it right. And SLAB did it perfectly. And listen to the drums on this track, they deserve to be mentioned.
Bury My Dog
Another great intro. The guitar again shows some classic (hard)rock influence, even though the song as a whole is most definitely metal. The song is once again very tight and well-composed and it has some great guitar work. However it is probably my least favorite on the record. I’m not exactly sure what it is, but it misses something.
Yi Zi Er Shi
Interesting song title, whereas Yi Zi Er Shi means “Swap your children, then eat”. And the song itself is interesting too. At around 3.15 the song sets off to a mysterious melodic part to then get back to the raw anger of metal. This song is gutsy and shows a lot of creativity while not letting go of what it is all about.
We start out in the jungle with birds and waterfalls (or at least, it’s one of the ways to experience it ;)). But lets get serious again. The song starts with a beautiful guitar melody, one that is quite unique in modern metal. Then the song gets going and infects you with great vocals and astonishing instrumentals. One of the best songs on this impressive debut album. Cogumelo Blue is most likely my favorite song by SLAB thusfar. The middle part lays low again and has quite a melodic character, but then the song gets back to raw power, until the song ends the way it started with the beautiful melodic guitar.
Who said that there are no great lyrics in metal? “Fear has got away, With ruining lives for so long but, The iron eyes of surveillance, Is no resistance, It’s a tool to keep away, The scented vine armies of love and resilience, Feel the forest grow, It shrouds life from the machine so”. That is pretty damn great if you ask me. Vines is the most typical metal song on the album. So maybe in that aspect it doesn’t stand out as much, but on other aspects it most definitely does. Not only do SLAB make it almost sound easy, but they also have a great metal song with great lyrics, and also they find a way to get all that bundled anger and energy out in a way that you can really get into the song. Even if you’re not a huge metal fan, you can still rock out to this one.
Okay, the bells are calling. Conspiracy is another progressive metal song that is performed near perfection. With changes in tempo and intensity, SLAB once again shows the talent and hard work that are put in this CD. This song, also, is filled with emotion. Great song.
Devilwalk is a great title for this song as you can really feel the sheer brutality and evil in this song. They way SLAB perfectly combines mood and music is impressive at the least. In my humble opinion this song should be present in every live set these guys play. One of the most creative and strongest songs on the album for sure.
The final track, Extinction Forums, is a massive track. Over 9 minutes long it is an obvious choice to end the album with. Even though it is not one of my favorite tracks on the album it sure is a very strong piece of music.
SLAB has impressed me deeply with this impressive and strong debut album. Where a lot of modern metal bands just don’t have what it takes to convince a larger audience, SLAB might have what it takes. They make it sound right, they play metal in a way metal is supposed to be played. With passion, energy, anger, and most importantly impeccable timing. It’s not just a massive wall of sound, but cleverly composed and well-performed. They are not afraid to let their creativity out and with parts of songs sometimes hinting to Led Zeppelin, Killing Joke, The Cure, Jethro Tull, and other great classic acts, a wide audience could be able to relate to their music, while they still stay true to real hardcore metal.