Love Sex Machine - something that can cause your partner to query your recent Google searches when you have not told her the name of the band you are currently reviewing - are a band from Lille in Northern France, currently signed to Lost Pilgrims Records (as well as Throatruiner Records) and this is a review of their second album 'Asexual Anger'. They deal in sludge metal and the cover is a little sick and twisted, which is what you would want from a sludge metal band. Now I would be telling fibs if I said I knew much about them before them; however, with a bizarre album title, cover and brilliant name, it is time to find out what this band are all about......
Starting the album off is the title track "Asexual Anger" which is bathed in feedback and heavy drumming from the start; the guitars crackle to live and then the band drop the main riff like a titanic version of Meshuggah and Crowbar had decided to release an album together. It swirls with a huge amount of aggression, it pounds the audience into submission and it does not take any prisoners. It moved at a slow pace, but that is what you want from this music - anger with powerful riffs and loud drumming! "Drone Syndrome" continues along the same sort of lines as "Asexual Anger", but this time the mood has taken a turn for the worst. It is a heavy, dark and oppressively atmospheric number that sounds as massive; I mean this is on the scale of Mantar and Strapping Young Lad huge (two bands who truly bring it when it comes to riffs for this blogger), this song is one that I have not stopped listening to since I was first sent the album and it is a mind blowing number. Truly this is one of the high lights of this release and worth checking out. "Black Mountain" takes things even slower, the speed is starting to be measured in terms of glacier speed at this point as the sludge pours out of the speakers with such a low frequency that it will rattle everything in your room when played loud enough. But the loss of speed is replaced with a giant riff that rips through the air and grabs hold of the listener, it is a strong and powerful riff which peaks at all the right points and builds back up to smash into without warning or care. The first half of the album comes to an end with "Aujeszky" and this fades in slowly with the band already starting to warm up with some strong feedback, loose drumming and a hint of bass rumble; that is until the main riff of the song starts and the bass seems to be turned up to 10, it sounds fucking gigantic in terms of sound and depth. It is a brilliant tune that sticks around in your mind long after it has finished and ends the first half of the album on a perfect note with could smash holes through walls; as first half as albums go, this is a really good start.
The second half starts off with "Devolution", after a short hint of droning feedback the band launch straight into another slab of sludge that is not for the weak of heart. It rumbles like the sound of Armageddon being unleashed upon the world, the dynamics of the riffs, that bass that hooks it all together and the drums that sound like thunder brings to life one of the best songs I have heard in 2016; as the album has progressed, the quality keeps improving. "Atrocity" is the next song and this starts with the sound slightly muffed, as if it is being heard through a wall as you enter into a venue; after a few moments the muffled sound becomes clear and you are back in the pit with destruction beginning to reign down on the world. It goes between slow and uber-slow sections, never settling longer than required on either and taking the noise to new depths, it is a strong song with a great riff and performance which drives the album onwards. Sadly, we are already at the penultimate song which is called "Infernal Spiral". This is the shortest song on the album at just over three and a half minutes in length and it is straight into the action, into a swirling riff that is accompanied with the sound of screams and harrowing noise that is this band's cocktail of choice. It is the first song on the album where there is a little room for improve, it could have been stretched out as that riff if fucking awesome; but that is one a small qualm considering that the song still sounds as tight as fuck. Ending the album is the bizarrely titled "Silent Duck" (it truly is called that, not a misspelt word) and the speed can now only be measured in terms of the growth of trees, ages will pass and this song will still match that same pace as it goes on forever towards the end of existence at a droning pace. With each listen, this monolithic monster improves and you hear more from the band as it unveils a sound that would make people who attend the Roadburn festival weak at their knees. It ends this album on a truly high note, leaving nothing standing in its wake.
This album is very impressive, from the opening note to the fading last clash of the symbols there is not a foot placed wrong on this record. It feels like the first time I heard Conan and Mantar, this band has a special spark about them and this album should be the launch pad to great things for the band. Apart from an extension to one song, this album is a rare thing for this listener; it is a sludge album that can be experienced in one sitting and you will get even more joy with each subsequent listen. This band are a group I will follow with great interest from now on, this album is one that you should listen to as soon as possible.
9 out of ten - Almost perfect, almost....
Top track - Devolution
You can purchase the CD or LP version of the album on the Love Sex Machine Bandcamp here
You can follow the activities of Love Sex Machine on Facebook here
At the time of writing, this album has not been released on Spotify, Deezer or Tidal; once it is on general release, I will add any streaming links.