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16 - Deep Cuts From Dark Clouds

Deep Cuts From Dark Clouds
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 16 April 2012, 6:56 PM

While I was listening to this album I was wondering if the entire Sludge Metal communion has the same distinct sound that will immediately identify them as Sludge Metal bands? As it seems apparently yes because every time I tune to these kinds of bands I hear the same booming, dirty, gloomy and overwhelming BLACK SABBATH upgrade to their 70s era. Other than that, with all my love to the early BLACK SABBATH and other groovy bands of the 70s and 80s that might have touched Sludge land and influenced its musical prospect, I haven’t had the chance to have an introduction with a decent band of the kind. Surely there is the notorious EYEHATEGOD, but what about others? Through Relapse Records I found out about the American band named 16. Don’t exactly know what this name represents but a mystery is always good for the soul. “Deep Cuts From Dark Clouds” is their new album and sixth album since 1991, and no they haven’t been active straight through all these years.

When I began listening I told myself not to expect anything, aside from the production that I had a pretty good hint about. To my surprise my ears popped with the cool sounds of “Theme from 'Pillpopper'”, and further on near the end “Beyond Fixable” that spread some fine groove and even a great solo guitar as a wonderful topping. When Cris, the vocalist, began shrugging and moaning with what resembled as disgust, I was perplexed at first if I would have rather had growls instead, but I told myself that it doesn’t matter. This type of vocal pattern fits the dirtiness of the music. Such line of iniquitous filth is a virtue when the music is drinking your soul as if it was a Jack Daniels party time. “Her Little "Accident"” got me thinking if it was actually a true story or just another exemplification of what is going on in the streets of the world when it comes to jealous dudes and innocent girls. Other than the concept, it was a pretty neat track with great beats but in time it got old as it repeated itself over and over. It took until the grotesque “Ants in My Bloodstream” that showed the promising nature and even the band’s groove sounded good and mesmerizing. I liked the bass work and the nice little delay section; sadly that nothing like it existed further in the track. “Opium Hook”, didn’t change anything for the drug induced as this entire release is smeared with haziness and pot or stronger heroin signs, nice story isn’t it? This song has some great riffing, great bass work, I can’t say the same for the vocals that kept heaving my head, but with a focus on the riffing, it is kind of cool.

You don’t have to be a Sludge fan to like this album, yet if you can take on the vocals and the fact that there are moments that are repeating themselves quite often, this is the place for you. 16 is one of the better Sludge Metal bands in heard in a while. “Deep Cuts From Dark Clouds” is a fine release and I suggest that you try to chew on it.

3 Star Rating

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
8. Bowels of a Baby Killer
9. Beyond Fixable
10. Only Photographs Remain 
Bobby- Guitar
Mateo- Drums
Cris- Vocals
Tony- Bass
Record Label: Relapse Records


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