16 — Deep Cuts From Dark Clouds

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16 - Deep Cuts From Dark Clouds cover
3.33 | 2 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2012

Filed under Sludge Metal
By 16


1. Theme from ‘Pillpopper’
2. Parasite
3. Her Little “Accident"
4. The Sad Clown
5. Ants in my Bloodstream
6. Broom Pusher
7. Opium Hook
9. Bowels of a Baby Killer
10. Beyond Fixable
11. Only Photographs Remain


About this release

Released April 24, 2012, on Relapse Records.

Thanks to Time Signature for the addition


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"Deep Cuts From Dark Clouds" is the 6th full-length studio album by US sludge/groove metal act 16. 16 released their debut album "Curves That Kick" as far back as 1993. "Deep Cuts From Dark Clouds" was released through Relapse Records in April 2012.

While the band are generally considered among the pioneers of the sludge metal sound, the music on "Deep Cuts From Dark Clouds" actually reminds me more of groove oriented metal artists like Prong and Helmet than of the more standard filthy sludge metal style. That impression is only further enhanced by the relatively clear and powerful sound production, which I feel would fit a groove metal album a lot better than a sludge metal ditto. So let´s settle with calling the music on "Deep Cuts From Dark Clouds" sludge/groove metal. There´s something hardcorish about the sound too, which initially led me to the conclusion that this was a New York band, but it turns out they are from Los Angeles.

The band are very well playing and "Deep Cuts From Dark Clouds" is definitely an entertaining album. I just don´t think it´s that memorable. The tracks seem to sound pretty much the same all the way through the album and as a consequence of the vocals being harsh, shouted hardcore type vocals, there is little in terms of melodic content on the album or memorable hooks for that matter. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.
Time Signature
Her little accident...

Genre: sludge-metal

16 is one of the more veteran sludge-metal bands out there, and that may well be the reason why they do not sound like the many bands that inhabit the scene nowadays. Their latest album Deep Cuts from Dark Clouds certainly, while displaying many of the traits that define the genre, indicates that this is a sludge band who have authority enough to go their own way.

As mentioned, many of the features that define the sludge-metal genre are present on the album, such as groovy riffs and heavy beats – although not as tortured and slow as with many other sludge bands – and 16 also draw a bit on noise rock and psychedelia, which is not unheard of in sludge-land. However, compared to many other sludge acts, 16 have opted for a very clear and clean productions on this album, which makes many of the riffs sound quite aggressive, and the sense of aggression, even in some of the southern style groovy riffs is further bolstered by the distorted bass and the yelled and raw-sounding vocals. While the music itself is groovy and sludgy, the production thus strikes me more as the production of a modern thrash metal album.

There is, in attitude at least, a touch of hardcore punk present on Deep Cuts from Dark Clouds, which I think is a positive asset, as it sets the album apart from the average sludge release these days, and it allows for people who are into groove thrash and the like to also relate to the album and, possibly, appreciate it. In any case, the production and the riffs put together result in a very crushing album.

Fans of groovy music with an edge should definitely check out this album.

(review originally posted at metalmusicarchives.com)

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