Slift “ Ilion ”

January 2024 | 24/01, MUSIC

It’s been a long time since I chose records on the basis of their cover art, but this one caught my attention, as well as the length of the tracks. It only took me a few seconds to feel in my element. Formed near Toulouse, this trio offer mature, dense prog-metal. Starting out with garage rock, they have evolved to achieve a harder sound on their third studio album. We could go through all the fringes of metal explored in the different tracks or in their development. From doom to drone metal, the rhythm is relentless, sometimes metronomic, sometimes tribal, reminiscent of the best parts of Sepultura’s Roots, but it can also be haunting. The guitar sometimes dominates the space, sometimes tears it apart, and the vocals, all in English, are often close to howling or incantation. The sparing synthesiser notes and quiet moments are welcome breaths of fresh air in this relentless deluge of metal. The year 2024 begins for me with an album I’ve fallen in love with.