Posted on by Oran

Sludge, groove and doom are the fodder for Ten Ton Slug, the latest metal heavyweights from Galway.

Beginning their journey in 2012, and their international journey by winning the Metal 2 the Masses in Dublin in 2016, they have gone from strength to strength by appearing at festivals all over Europe (Metal Days, Bloodstock, Siege of Limerick but to name a few), and supporting some heavy hitters of metal such as Crowbar and Black Label Society.

Their debut album ‘Colossal Oppressor’ has knocked over a few walls since its release on May 1st, and after having a few listens, this has made its way onto my top albums of the year.

Fronted by Rónán O ‘hArrachtáin, the Slug slithers across 8 tracks of mutant mayhem, propped up by killer guitar riffs from Sean O Suilleabhain, and bass from bassist Pavel Rosa.

Opening with a quite groovy number ‘The Ooze’, TTS begin their annunciation to the world by starting slow and measured, but once ‘Balor’ starts, that gesture is politely thrown out of the window of a moving car at 100mph with a kiss and a ‘toodle-pip, old sport!’, as its’ ferocity unleashes a beast hiding in the shadows.

You cannot help but bang your head and quietly declare “fuck yes!” to yourself once the drums kick in, as the slimers get their hands dirty with some awesome musicianship. ‘Ancient Ways’ follows suit, and is easily one of the heaviest tracks on the album, but it’s hard to nail down one track that is heavier than the others.

Brutus’ and ‘Mindless and Blind’ continue the bludgeoning as O ‘hArrachtáin levels the mic with unchecked insanity; his gruff and relentless growl is every bit as intense at both the start and the end of the album. To be frank, every time I see these guys in concert, I am always left wondering how he’s even able to talk afterwards. Giving pause with ‘Ghosts of the Ooze’, O Suilleabhain, and Rosa take a beat, and let the reins slide a bit to allow a gradual come-down in their instrumental inhalation.

However, this pause is short-lived (1 minute and 32 seconds to be precise), as O ‘hArrachtáin releases the berserker side of his heritage from the City of Tribes in an Irish-spoken fury-strewn tirade ‘Mallocht an tSloda’ (Curse of the Sludge). The riffs and breakdowns in this track are truly excellent, and one cannot help but slam a fist on the counter when this bad boy is turned up loud.

This is a stark reminder that Ten Ton Slug was founded by native Irish speakers, and throughout their various releases (Blood and Slime (2017), Brutal Gluttonous Beast (2016), and a host of singles), they have always stayed true to their roots.

After beating us around the head for over half an hour, ‘Mogore the Unkind’ is the farewell salute to a job well done, but this is also unforgiving. The blatant abuse of the drum skins’ welfare is matched only by O Suilleabhain’s riff attack, and (I’m being somewhat biased here) puts them among some of the best musicians in the metal scene in Ireland at the moment. ‘Colossal Oppressor’ has earmarked Ten Ton Slug as a force of nature, and with it, new opportunities will arrive for this band.

This is a cracking album, so listen loud and listen soon.  4/5


Track of Choice: Ancient Ways

Order your copy via this link.

Shaun Martin 2024