Review: Sleazebag & Peine Kapital – Split EP

A tasty little twenty two minute Sludgelord split special that brings together bands from Germany and France. The broad genre term is definitely ‘sludge’, but this is again a demonstration of how broad that term can be – there’s a notable contrast between Sleazebag’s swampy despondency and Peine Kapital’s aggravated scorch that speaks to the vitality of this corner of the underground.

Sleazebag & Peine Kapital – Split

Sleazebag get us going with saturated tones and dank dungeon vocals that maybe reveal this one-man project’s origins in more grindy deathy music. You’re invited to a radical acceptance of your absolute worst. These two songs are guitar-led, dirty sleazy riffs front and centre, all sustain and downward push, the vocals sitting on top like the sarcastic commentary of your inner critic.

The music’s in no hurry to get anywhere, we’re already at the bottom. Despite the grindcore background of Sleazebag this is more sludge approached from the doom end, stripped of the hardcore compulsions, or engaged rage that characterise many bands playing under this umbrella. From this little taster, Sleazebag has found a way into some satisfyingly downer musical ideas, and tones to match. I’ll be keeping an eye out for more.

Sleazebag get us going with saturated tones and dank dungeon vocals… Peine Kapital employ slow crushing riffs alongside the harshness and violence…

Peine Kapital use their half of the release for one extended piece, and as I noted above, the immediate impression is of contrast. This is occupying a very different sound-world, industrial percussive crunch bleeding into burning feedback and barely suppressed violence. Here the hardcore heritage is much more prominent, Peine Kapital employ slow crushing riffs alongside the harshness and violence that open the song, but regardless of actual tempo there is a pervasive tension between drag and energy which, to me, is the key element of much of the best sludge.

To borrow from the label’s patter about the release this is ‘brutal and pessimistic’ stuff indeed, with a degree of extremism that matches anything at the heaviest end of the scene. I’d heard their prior release Sanguinarium and mentally tagged them as a group to pay attention to, and this has further whetted my appetite for more.

Two sides to this release then, and a good bit of variety for your money – £3.50 download, £8 CD. There’s the contrast between a one-man recording project and the band-in-studio feel, and between tensions of suffocating dungeon despair and enraged extremity, there is much satisfaction to be bled.

Label: Sludgelord Records
Sleazebag: Facebook | Bandcamp
Peine Kapital: Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Harry Holmes