ALBUM: Slough Feg – Digitial Resistance

Release Date: February 18th, 2014
Label: Metal Blade Records


It seems that, on their ninth studio album, Californian quartet Slough Feg have finally run out of steam. ‘Digital Resistance’ marks a change for the band. Even frontman Mike Scalzi admits it himself, as he claims to have stopped wracking his brain when it comes to the writing process, opting instead for a more laidback approach, writing whatever comes naturally. The fact of the matter is though, when Scalzi slaves away over his songs, they’re far, far better. 2000’s ‘Down Among The Dead Men’ and 2003’s ‘Traveller’ are both considered landmark records in the metal genre, largely due to Scalzi‘s writing.

Then we come to ‘Digital Resistance’, and if you’re familiar with the band’s earlier work, it continues in the same vein of classic heavy metal with folk-esque overtones at times. The main problem though is that a lot of it feels unfinished and just generally weird. Take album opener, ‘Analogue Avengers / Bertrand Russell’s Sex Den’ as an example. If you can get past the wacky name, you’re invited to an odd concoction of messy guitars and rolling drums. Whilst it might sound fairly original upon first listen, it’s far from enjoyable. The song continues in the same manner throughout. There’s a fairly cool organ-laden break in the middle, but it doesn’t go anywhere, and instead chooses to meander about aimlessly.

Some of the guitar-work on the album makes for an interesting listen, but the album relies far too heavily on repetition at times to make it enjoyable. Scalzi is incredibly competent as a singer as well, which seems to be the most entertaining aspect of the album. His range is wonderful and, in true classic heavy metal fashion, he opts for a clean voice instead of any growls or gutturals.

At the end of the forty minute running time though, it sounds as though Slough Feg have stopped trying. ‘Digital Resistance’ merely seems to be a collection of half-baked, semi-finished ideas that come and go without leaving any lasting impression other than a confused look on the face of any listeners present. The band may never capture the sounds of ‘Down Among The Dead Men’ or ‘Traveller’ again, but for God’s sake, at least try and keep it entertaining.

Written by Jack Boaden