The Great Sabatini are a Canadian sludge metal outfit that have recently released their third full length album, titled, Dog Years. With this album, they’ve stuck with the same tricks that have aided them through the years and releases: slow, brutal and thick playing, with four shouters working overtime while they play.
That isn’t to say that you can’t this dog and his years a few new tricks though. In my opinion, Dog Years feels much more carefully planned, better produced and much more head-strong than their previous release, Sunday School.
Their mixes on the songs seem to be more proficient this time around as well, The Royal We and Munera sound incredible. Speaking of incredible, the breakdown in The Royal We feels like a real tease and I adore that; it’s sludgey, messy and sounds like Godzilla during a hangover. I feel like songs like Pitchfork Pete also show off a different kind of creative side as the band work in a very well placed sample with the beats and rhythms that they’re playing
The Great Sabatini seem to be very talented at teasing listeners with those long, drawn out bits of feedback during songs, well done use of silence and spacious drumming. It’s these moments that really make this album worth a listen. However, I felt like the track Nursing Home, was unsatisfying; the playful riff was there that grooved nicely with the guitar, the build-up was great, but it just needed something extra to finish it.
That being said, these guys have shown that they can indeed, satisfy my desires for smelly sludge metal. The song Munera, brings in these prehistoric sounds and riffs that are amazing and catchy in their heaviness. It’s also another one of their songs that has an insane breakdown.
Although said breakdowns are insane, it never feels like the lads are showing off. There are solos on this album that all feel very down to earth, very laid back, as opposed to an over-the-top lightning solo, for example. Both Reach and Periwinkle War Hammer use these minimal solos that sound great, without the worry of alienating someone that doesn’t like sweep picking, for example.
The vocals are also typically sludge-like although sometimes, they turn from screams to the shouts of insane noise-rockers and that’s fine. The vocal styling fits the music extremely well and I never found the vocals jarring at all. Although, I thought they really stood out as particularly demonic on Periwinkle War Hammer.
With all this talk of sludge and noise, now might be a great time to talk about the oddball on the album: Akela. They released a video with this song back on the 28th of June and I’ve gotta say, it’s a strange one; I’m not entirely sure how to feel about it. The slide guitar is sloppy and sounds as such, but at the same time, it feels obvious that that’s the point. The very bluesy sound of this track takes me back to the quiet moments of other sludge metal bands, like Acid Bath.
Dog Years is a killer third album from these, already well established sludge monsters. There’s lots of heavy breakdowns, harsh vocals, drumming that sounds like your arms would be tired after playing it; it’s just all great and worth a listen.
Especially if you have a vinyl player. If you buy it and live in the Canada, you get a yellow pressing, while Europe and the USA get a black and clear red pressing. Awesome.