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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Live review: Slabdragger at Winston Kingdom, Amsterdam, 7 May 2016

Travelling off to Amsterdam is a hell of a pain in the ass but in this review I’ll explain why everything was worth it. Slabdragger was playing! To the people who don’t know Slabdragger, Slabdragger is a really, really heavy stoner/doom band from the UK. Gaining recognition by being fuzzy and doomy and smokey.

At first we entered the building (Winston Kingdom in Amsterdam) we were astonished by the size of the room, it was not big at all. Significantly smaller than Melkweg also in Amsterdam. So the feeling of the music could only get better. The good thing is… the soundman did his job really good. In a room where there were less than 50 people including the bartenders and sound people the atmosphere of the music was better than with any other music genre. You get into a vibe, maybe even a trance when your ears are being completely obliterated by heavy guitars and vocals so uneartly that death and black metal bands should all come to see the show and take notes.

The first song Slabdragger played was Mercenary Blues from their newest effort called “Rise of the Dawncrusher”. On a side note, I am also the one who reviewed the album and gave it a 10/10 so if you want to know what this album sounds like just look for it here. Mercenary Blues started off a bit messy with the guitar tones and fuzz but a minute later everything was perfect again and you could tell by the look on the bands’ faces that the sound man struck a good nerve with their sound. Every note came out so well and recognizable. My absolute compliments to bass player and vocalist Yusef for sounding even better than on the albums. His high form of screeching goes right through the bone straight into the marrow. When in the vibe of the music the vocals hit so hard. I get goosebumps every time. Yusef was definitely in his own world and that’s a good thing. Making funny faces at the microphone and staring into the (rather small) crowd.

After playing 3 other worldly songs off “Rise of the Dawncrusher” they played two songs from their first full length called “Regress”. In this album you could notice guitarist Sam Thredder had a lot more vocal lines and he played the riffs with a powerful roar at the same time. His shirt also caught my eye. It said Grey Widow and I went to look it up today and I must thank Sam Thredder for introducing me into this band. Fuckin’ heavy mate.

The only complaint I have about this evening is that their setlist couldn’t be longer. I would have loved to hear “Iron Vulture” or “Implosion Rites” but I hope they will play it next time because I am definitely going to be there. This band is an example to follow. Do what you love. And have fun while you’re doing it. I could see every smile and every bit of laughter up close and it was very inspiring.

After the show I had my copy of “Rise of the Dawncrusher “on vinyl signed and had a quick chat with the guys. It was a good evening and I wish more people had seen this band. They’re like the undercover version of Stoned Jesus but in my opinion better (and HEAVIER). As one of my favorite bands at the moment I can honestly say they delivered their best. Sounding better than on the record in a live setting. That is something most bands of today can take notes on.

Slabdragger, until next time brothers! Like you said in my signed vinyl, keep it Sludgy-G.

Written by Joost van der Leij

Slabdragger Facebook

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