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.