Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Initial Impressions: 16: Deep Cuts from Dark Clouds

It took me awhile to really get into sludge.  Sort of.  I was a big fan of groups like Corrosion of Conformity, who had some sludge elements.  However, most of the other bands from that genre took a bit longer.  I really got away from it when Mastodon was becoming the big band in the genre.  Not that I really disliked Mastodon, just that they did not do a lot for me early on.  They seemed a bit too mainstream for me, I don't really know.  I also stayed away from groups like Baroness and a lot of other bands featuring similar sound and cover art.  You know what I am talking about.

And then I started getting into Crowbar, Eyehategod, and Acid Bath.  From that point, I started getting into Mastodon and Baroness as well.  While I would not say that sludge is a particular favorite genre of mine, I have gotten enough into it to know that I can enjoy other bands in the similar style.

Which brings us to 16.  I had been aware of 16 for a long time, but never really checked them out.  Until just a day ago.  I was in the local music store and saw this album sitting on the shelf.  I debated between picking it up or Cannibal Corpse or Exumer.  I chose 16 to give a band I had never really checked out a chance.  Sometimes that does not work out, and then sometimes it does.

This time it worked.  16 plays a particularly savage brand of sludge metal with a lot of aggression and power.  16 is not quite as extreme as Eyehategod but exists in sort of a middle ground between the more mainstream-minded Mastodon and Baroness and the psychotic stylings of Eyehategod.  The band's riffs are earth-shakingly heavy and the songs carry on at a somewhat medium pace.

The album does tend to drag a little bit as it goes on.  Most of the songs are fairly similar.  But the pace and energy are still infectious enough to keep things somewhat entertaining.  It is a pretty good album, but not essential for the genre.

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