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The Velvet SuperSloths – The Velvet SuperSloths Award winner

The Velvet SuperSloths
The Velvet SuperSloths
by Mark Machlay at 02 March 2021, 2:29 AM

The groove/stoner metal band VELVET SUPERSLOTHS from Sherbrooke, Quebec formed in late 2014, supposedly because drummer Johnny Maximum and bassist Yanick Brouillard were looking at Maximum’s ample beard and joked that it would be perfect for a stoner band. Apparently, the laughs turned into reality as they soon started forming some material for such a project. They quickly enlisted fellow guitarist friends Eric Provencher and Jean-Francois “JF” St-Cyr and the search was on for a decent frontman. They packaged their tunes into a 4-song demo to try to lure in a vocalist and were successful in finding a dozen offers from singers of varying styles but Dave Boisse turned out to be more than the group hoped for. Since Boisse was a professional sound engineer in addition to having the needed pipes, the group relied a lot on his expertise as they were mostly taking a DIY approach to production. The band came together relatively quickly - in less than a year the band was complete – but the group would then spend 2 years cutting their teeth composing, crafting and playing live shows.

Content to only release singles at first, it wasn’t until late 2018 that the band decided to finally start crafting an album. Despite the lack of funds and resources of major bands the group took their collective talent of sound engineering, graphic design, and marketing to produce an album by themselves as many of their fans came away frustrated from their live shows without a physical copy of the band’s music to take with them. Their debut self-titled album would see another delay due to the pandemic – with the album originally intended to be released in June of 2020 – it gave the band more time to polish the album and even shoot a music video for “Higher Fire”, released back in November of 2020.

It’s clear that the album was truly a labor of love, fully DIY produced, recorded, edited, mixed and arranged by the individual members that make up VELVET SUPERSLOTHS. Now finally released this past January of 2021, its brutal mix of downtuned guitars, catchy riffs and earworm chorus that are especially reminiscent of PANTERA and CLUTCH as well as the progenitors of doom metal BLACK SABBATH but also mixes some nu-metal and even modern rock influences of KORN. Many of the tracks are pretty straight-ahead groove/stoner such as standouts “I Am Penny” and “Realms of Death”, both slow groove, yet dirge feel stoner crawls. But you hear a thrash metal influence with the aggressive “Forsaken Life”. It remind of that one METALLICA album most METALLICA fans don’t speak about without solos, and yet, here is a song done in that style with a shred-heavy solo over the down-and-dirty grungefest, showing how such an album could have been great. But then there is atmosphere and creepiness in “Dead Red Moon”, giving me vibes of PANTERA’s “Floods” clean, echo-laden guitar arpeggiations before getting heavy and punishing, back and forth throughout the piece. “Never Too Late” blew me away, seemingly throwing all their influences into a blender making for a epic, almost progressive production elements with layered vocal textures, banjo “Deliverience” style clean sections, but still heavily groove metal tinged. The band took their time and poured a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into their debut and it paid off, it’s really groovy listening.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Irresistible
2. Higher Fire
3. Forsaken Life
4. Dead Red Moon
5. Sold Your Soul
6. Never Too Late
7. I am Penny
8. Uncertain Outcome
9. Dirty Night
10. Where Are You
11. Sloth-toe
12. Realms of Death
Lineup:
David Boisse – Vocals
Eric Provencher – Guitar & Backing Vocals
Jean-Francois St-Cyr – Guitar
Yanick Brouillard – Bass
Johnny Maximum – Drums
Record Label: Hell on the Rock Records
     


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Edited 16 October 2021
 

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