ALthough commonly thought of a sludge band, this album borrows heavily from just about every genre of extreme metal. haphazardly stringing together black metal shrieks, death meatl growls, grindcore, doom metal and, yes, sludge. Not surprisingly, it's a schizophrenic experience. As a sludge metal fan, I find it disappointing that, while the band manage to come up with some great southern sludge riffs, the stubbornly refuse to stick to one of them for more than a few seconds. This results in a lot of lost potential, in my opinion. On the other hand, I have read tons of rave reviews, for this album, so obviously they are pleasing some people.
The songs lead into each other almost without pause, giving the impression of a single long piece of music. That, and the fact that most of the songs sound very similar gives the record a somewhat monotonous quality, despite its rapid fire changes of pace. The 2005 reissue adds three tracks from the "String of Lies" EP, which are largely more of the same.
On final comment about the lyrics. I am certainly no prude, and not one to shy away from offensive lyrics, but for me a song like "Gagged Whore" goes too far and ruins any pleasure I would otherwise get from the music.
This is a very tough record to rate. The musicianship is excellent, and there are plenty of good riffs here. It's also hard to deny that the band is innovative in its approach. However, I ultimately have to go with how much enjoyment I get from an album,. and in this case it's not very much. 2 1/2 stars.