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Weedeater: Goliathan

Bongs, bad vibes and belligerence from North Carolina’s finest

When Weedeater released And Justice For Y’All in 2001, the sludge scene was in good health but the trio’s corrosive, lurching attack still stood out like bone through mangled flesh.

Things have changed considerably since and the slow-motion, hell-blues ante has been upped countless times. As a result, while Goliathan will indubitably tick all the usual boxes for fans of detuned Sabbath worship and drug-ravaged bellowing, there is little here that is likely to startle or thrill sludge’s most devoted followers.

The good news is that the Wilmington wackos’ knack for penning riffs that come with bulging eyeballs and broken teeth remains firmly intact. The excruciating shuffle of the title track and Cain Enabler’s abominable, monochrome grooves kick things off with frothy-lipped intensity, while the shattered fuzz of Bow Down sounds like Fu Manchu after a nasty downer binge.

The problem is that Goliathan’s raw and rasping sound lacks the bowel-liquefying heft to compete with contemporary doom’s lust for sonic overload. Still smokin’, though./o:p