It's a testament to how varied the world of extreme metal has become when even a descriptive term as nuanced as 'sludge' has come to mean entirely different things to different people. Take London based riff merchants Koresh's latest for example; a release that falls firmly in the sludge category, and yet anyone expecting hour long dirges will likely come away disappointed. If, on the other hand, you've been on the hunt for a collection of filthy, Sabbath infused punk songs about Terry Wogan (and I'm pretty sure that's what I've been searching for my whole life, I just didn't know it yet), then you're in luck! Koresh's sound borrows from all the great sludge luminaries (you know the score by now, Eyehategod, Iron Monkey, Buzzoven, all that good stuff), but ramps up the speed, resulting in a furious blast of down-tuned nastiness.
The disjointed, lurching grooves of 'Bin Juice' are pretty damn irresistible, whilst the aforementioned 'Wogan' sounds like a bunch of meth fiends fumbling their way through 'Electric Funeral' (in the best possible way, of course) and the supremely titled 'Adolf Hipster' wouldn't sound out of place on a later Black Flag record. In fact, the closest they get to that standard sludge dirge is on 'Cheer Up Glasgow', but even then their tongue remains firmly in cheek!
These guys fit right into that lineage of filthy, punked up sludge that the UK seems to do so well. Indeed, with their dual vocal approach and heavy punk influence, it's tempting to view them as spiritual successors to Nottingham sludge heroes Bumsnogger, and anyone who dug that band's lairy, booze soaked take on the genre will also find much to enjoy here. There's a subtle noise rock influence at play here too, most noticeable in the massive sounding closer 'You Can Call Me Gaahl', but it also manifests itself in a number of quirky, weird riffs that occasionally shine out from between the sludgy murk (check out that bizarre, jazzy little break in the midst of opener 'Straight Edge Till Midnight'.)
There's also a strong sense of good ol' fashioned, hard
rocking fun; if Eyehategod are the sound of the worst comedown you've ever
had, then Koresh are surely the delirious sense of intoxicated jubilation
that followed the night before. Koresh may not set the world alight, but they're a fine addition to the already impressive Witch Hunter Records roster - plus they're sure to
absolutely destroy any venues they hit in support of this EP, and ultimately, isn't that what really matters? - Kez Whelan