Review by Saxy S for Slower - Slower (2024)
The novelty of this project is not lost on me.
Slower is a supergroup of sorts, consisting of many members of well established stoner/sludge metal bands through the 2000s, including Monolord, Fu Manchu and Year of the Cobra. Together they come together and ask the question that was surely on every metalheads mind: what would Slayer sound like if they were doom metal?
The answer is fascinating, but not without flaws. Given that the early Slayer albums (the most popular records) are very sloppy/muddy in their execution, it makes perfect sense to give them some sludge. However, the debut from Slower presents one major flaw: four of the five tracks are from post-Reign in Blood era Slayer. These albums were far cleaner and the idea of muddying them up seems a little out of left field in my honest opinion. The title track from South of Heaven does sound good, especially the iconic opening riff. While the three Seasons in the Abyss covers ("War Ensemble", "Blood Red" and "Dead Skin Mask") highlight just how groovy those songs really were before. And that just leaves "The Antichrist", which might serve as the albums outlier, but the production shows it indebtedness to those early Slayer albums.
It's rather difficult to review these since they aren't the bands ideas and are instead just covering songs that are staples within the metal community. I don't think it's bad per se, but the song selection is grossly mishandled. Slower should have given its listener something that felt closer to the "Slayer aesthetic" of messy production and shredding guitars. Instead, this record feels much closer to those classic, post-Reign in Blood albums that I really like, but likely don't represent the Slayer experience. And the songs do lose their charm because of that.
Best Songs: South of Heaven, The Antichrist