Slowenya   the wild inevitable

Slowenya - The Wild Inevitable


A brave genre-bending album soaked in the heaviest and slowest Doom with delightful dissonant parts reeking of grinding Industrial Metal seeped with gloomy Darkwave synth sampling.

The band since its inception has described its music themselves as Alternative Doom. Quite a good way to describe their music. It is certainly Doom, but, my, do they have their special take on the genre! Already in the opener ”The Perfect Undesirable” you are pulled into a dark doomy cinematic soundscape. While the ground shivers, a looming monolithic entity darkens the soundscape with low-end doomy synths. It could be the opening score for a dark overwhelming Sci-Fi-move. It is like the music carries all the burdens of the world on its back, especially when growling screams emerge in the dark and heavy sonics. The song is slow, Funeral Doom slow, but with the sound of a metronome in the layers that give some kind of faster pace. Clean echoing vocals in a low key, soon hover above the darkness as the music spreads out and the heavy synth pushes slowly to the end of the song.

To open a Doom Metal album with a synth-based song, however heavy, shows a trio very confident in their music and development. Saying so, I must admit I had never heard of these Finns before until they dropped the promo at VoS. But having listened through their previous efforts of EPs and singles, I see how those very interesting releases were the courageous path they followed to release this massive epos of an album. On this album, they have refined their composition skills, arrangements, and orchestration and have churned out an immaculate album that is as good as it is surprising.

The distorted doom sounds from heavy riffage, rumbling grooving bass, and hard, diverse drumming begin on track two ”Angel Raised Wolves”. But with their distinct musical twist on it, of course. The hammering opening with grinding, slightly dissonant music has an industrial metal sense to it. And if you are not familiar with the band, the deep clean, and very strong vocals might surprise you as they are not what we expect in this genre. And they are slightly reminiscent of Bloodhound Gang, with Bowie-esque and Swans timbre in. The vocals spread itself among the doomy, grinding music. While the vocals sing slightly dissonant and at the same time melodic lines, a lot is happening in the massive music that surrounds it. The bass rumbles and grooves. The distorted slightly atonal guitar spews out riffs. There is a shift where the music pans out and the vocals become harmonic and wishful as the music tightens with distorted riffs and sampled noise before the vocals sing an engaging chorus serving as a counterpoint to the music that pushes it through the chorus. If it was not clear before, it is now clear that this trio has a brave take on the doom genre, and they bend the genre to their will in an utterly delightful, yet disturbing piece of music.

We already know that Finland has the most metal bands per capita in the world. To distinguish themselves in such a flora of metal bands, one has to be creative inside a genre´s expectations. Bands like Mortyfear and Oranzzi Pazusu are just two examples who have done this with great success, and now we certainly can add Slowenya. But what constructs a genre? On Beyoncé´s last album, the sampled voice of the country legend Linda Martell says: ”Genres are a funny little concept, aren’t they … In theory, they have a simple definition that’s easy to understand. But in practice, well, some may feel confined.”

Why this digression? Because I heard that after my initial listening to Slowenya and it is like the trio has taken that to heart and wanted to crash the doom party, challenge us on what Doom can be, and triumphantly compose a cacophonous Doom music, rarely heard before, by mixing in a lot of styles and samples, but keeping the atmosphere of Doom intact while doing so. Quite impressive.

The next tracks on the album are a showcase of this. Confidently they pour out music that sometimes seems at odds with itself, like on ”Classic Romantic Dramatic”. After heavy opening riffs driven by bass and drums, it changes into a chugging, grinding doom sequence. As the music pans a bit out, the powerful clean vocals begin to sing a bit at odds with the music as the singer has a slightly dissonant timbre. The music becomes massive with layers of sampled music. And now we are treated to another dimension of the vocalist’s incredible range; screaming hoarse growls as the clean vocal elevates above the grinding music that slowly turns into chugging again repeating the earlier part of the song with growls and a wall of massive doom music.

Here we are at another aspect of Slowenya´s take on the Doom genre, the diverse vocals. I have already mentioned what it might resemble. The vocals give sometimes deep resonance in the music, sometimes a bit dissonant or maybe atonal, and on ”Adjacent” the vocals are dreamy as the dense music has a sense of counterpoint to it, making it utterly exciting and listenable. Throughout the song, the instruments melt together in dark Doom to push and argue with the dreamy vocals. Elongated sound effects from the guitar bring the song to its conclusion. But sometimes the vocals are also desperate Hardcore screaming like on the apocalyptic ”Horizontal Loops” where there is also an undercurrent of deep vocalizing growls in the layers as the Industrial Doom music grinds over it.

The album closes with ”The Heat Burns The Grief” opening with a bright dissonant note before it hits out with dense sonics surrounding clear melodic vocals. The Doom music widens out with clean guitar and layered sound before it fuses back with dissonant sounds in the music. It is once more fascinating how delightfully at odds with the music the clean melodic vocals are. At the same time, it is quite well integrated into the heavy Doomgaze that flows from Slowenya`s music.

Massive, ponderous, grinding, dense, and surprising might cover some aspects of this music, but it is not enough because it is done with impressive engaging genre blending bravery. One for the December´s AOTY, for sure.