Sludge metal, by its name, would generally be presumed to ooze along: dank-smelling riffs and misanthropy pouring out of a pipe in an ominous flood. Switchblade Jesus, however, is a highly-pressurized sort of sludge: this comes at you like it's blasted out of a firehose, knocking you off your feet. Their upcoming album Death Hymns is a tightly-packed ripper that's all riffs, all speed, all tone, all at the same time. Put your ear to that gushing firehose and sample the track "Behemoth" now.

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This is amplifier worship of the highest order: everything is as hot as it can be, with distorted riffs crackling with static and the vocals threatening to dissolve into incomprehensible noise. The crunchy fuzz somewhat buries the articulation on the riffs, but your mind can construct the missing detail through all the energy that's transmitted in its place. Only the bare essentials of the drum kit can -- and should -- be heard through this corrosive spew: the boom of the kick drum, the thud of the snare, the cannon-like impact of tom drums, and the electrifying high-end of the cymbals. Mixed together, "Behemoth" hits like a gut punch, maximizing its use of the entire frequency spectrum with overwhelming bulk.

Death Hymns is almost like the band took all the riffs, all the doom, and all the heaviness from an hour-plus album and compressed it into an explosive burst not even half that length. With the groove and weightiness of more cautious approaches preserved, the band's recklessness propels the infectious riffing to a near-spiritual experience: all glory to the unceasing rampage.

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Death Hymns releases November 20th via Cursed Tongue Records.

Regarding "Behemoth," the band comments:

If Electric Messiah is High on Fire's tribute to Lemmy this is Switchblade Jesus's tribute to the riff lord Matt Pike himself. Evolving from a session that transformed it into a snarling riff obsessed track that doesn't let up as it obliterates the listener, this track shows more of the thrash side of the album as the double pick and relentless attack gallops you straight into hell with a walls of tube saturation and your communion of death.


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