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SLOG – “Divination” album premiere & exclusive interview

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Death-doom is a genre known for its sense of fierce despair and brute misery, however, Slog seeks to add a strange and powerful mysticism to that sound. Consider Slog to be death-doom shamans – taking raw, dark, extreme metal and weaving in esoteric melodies that defy mortal comprehension. This arcane savagery is the combined effort of Jared Moran (drums and vocals) and Nicholas Turner (guitars and bass), both of whom have a daunting list of credits in other musical projects. To highlight just a few of their other activities – Moran is the driving force behind Yzordderrex, Filtheater, and 54R while Turner is known for his work in Nothing Is Real, Moldering Vibration, and Schizochristo. This is not the only time the pair has teamed up either, both having participated in Psionic Madness, Acausal Intrusion, Feral Lord, and others.

The first Slog album, entitled Graves, was released by Transylvanian Recordings and Morbid And Miserable Records in late 2021, immediately bewitching fans of the somber and extreme. Now Slog has returned with their second album, Divination, expanding upon every macabre idea introduced on the original. Divination is filled with ritual and reflection – bleak hymns that blur the line between primal grief and metaphysical wisdom. There is a terrifying intensity to each song with inescapably eerie undertones, but this is broken up by melancholic passages meant to evoke introspection. Divination represents something elegantly gruesome that is just beyond our understanding. The album will be available digitally and on CD from Morbid And Miserable Records on January 13th.

ARTIST: Slog
ALBUM: Divination
LABEL: Morbid And Miserable Records
RELEASE DATE: January 13, 2023
GENRE: Death-doom
FORMAT: CD and digital!

Tracklist:

  1. Illuminated Expansion
  2. Synthesis Sequencer
  3. Creeping Flora
  4. Theurgy Equinox
  5. Labyrinth Amulet
  6. Bequested Endowment
  7. Self Value That Utilizes Them
  8. Eucharistic Purification

Recommended for fans of:
Disembowelment, Spectral Voice, Slimelord

Lineup:
N. Turner: Strings
J. Moran: Drums and vocals

PRE-ORDER: https://morbidandmiserable.bandcamp.com/album/divination

Slog is usually labeled genre-wise as Death/Doom. The music is characterized by a mood of misery and fear. Please, give us a more in-depth description on Slog’s releases!

NT: For Slog I really try to tap into a primal feeling of hopelessness, darkness, and doom. I think many of us as humans have this internal feeling that we are doomed, only death is certain, and a lot of this life is futile. However in addition to that, I wanted to add a very ritualistic feeling to Slog, like an ancient death cult summoning undead beings to infect the earth. There’s something very somber and ancient about the sounds I’ve been able to tap into in this band, but in the end I love music so much because it goes beyond what words can describe to feelings even deeper.

Your first album entitled “Graves” was released last year. In what extent would you call it a good start? How much did the fans of funeral doom like it?

NT: I feel that Graves was a great start for us and I am very happy with the record itself. I’m extremely grateful that both Transynvanian Records and Morbid and Miserable worked in collaboration to put it out, and I think people did really love it. However, with a first record it is always establishing a certain sound and energy and there is always room for growth and imrovement. Sometimes us as bands are able to pull of that growth/imrovement and sometimes we don’t, but there lies the fun in the expermentation.

Both of you guys play in many bands. Why did you feel the need to create Slog as an extra?

NT: I feel Slog carves a unique niche in our many bands. It not only carves out it’s own sound but combines small aspects of sounds in our other projects to create something completely different. As I play doom combined with various extreme metal in my solo project Nothing Is Real, that project is much more open for experimentation and vastly different sounds per record, whereas Slog holds a distinctly more distorted and death doom approach no matter what. Another difference with Slog versus our other bands is that Jared writes the drums first at sluggish and horrifically slow tempos, then sends the naked drums to me that I then spend time composing over. So this reverse process leads to a rock solid backbone for me to be able to compose over.

Only one year has passed and the follow-up is already here, as the album entitled “Divination” will be released soon. One can feel the progress on all fronts. Where did you record it, what did you do differently this time compared to the previous one?

NT: We recorded ot at the same locations as our first album, with Jared first doing his drums at his studio The Cave in Mississippi, then me recording all guitars and bass at my studio Malevolent Sound in Los Angeles, then Jared going over the final product with his vocals and me doing the final mix and master. I think the main difference this time was that I spent a lot more time to painstakingly compose each track, spending many hours on each song to make sure it progressed perfectly to the crescendo we wanted as a band. I also used some different gear on the record, I used my same 1970’s Fender Telecaster I used on the first album tuned to drop G but used a brand new Science Mother 200 watt custom amp that was built for me, which comprised of the amazing and thick doom tone. Together that was paired with an Ampeg SS140c for a colder and more death metal tone. For bass I used an old Kramer aluminum neck bass through a sunn concert lead. Overall, I think the extra work on the composition really did a lot to step this album up from the debut.

What are the songs about? What are your favorite lyrical themes?

NT: Unfortunately, I do not write the lyrics for Slog so I can’t comment too much on that. But I have also never cared much about lyrics, being primarily an instrumentalist/composer, I have always looked at vocals as just another instrument and even as a kid never paid too much attention to lyrics. If I really loved a band and had the CD or vinyl, I would go through the lyrics too see what was driving the band.

Where do you usually draw inspiration from? What is it that influences you?

NT: My main inspiration has always been my life experience. I have been through a lot of pain, misery, loss, hopelessness, despair, life and death situations, but have also been able to turn my life around and feel true happiness, purpose, love, and redemption. So these core emotions of real life experience are I think the ONLY real thing to draw from. Of course the things we listen to and affect us create a vocabulary to draw from, just like a language. The things that really affected me as a musician were hearing prog music in middle school/late highschool such as Yes and King Crimson showing what is truly possible with stretching what is truly possible with music and song structure as a whole. But any music that emotionally affects me is grounds for futher inspiration.

In what extent do you plan to remain an underground band? How much do you think people listen to Death/Doom music nowadays?

NT: To me death/doom has always been underground, and always should be. I think there has been somewhat a revival in death metal making it a bit more popular in recent years, but death doom is yet another niche of death metal. The people who get it will seek it out, and those who don’t will not care.

Where would you move to make a better way for your music in the world, if you could have the opportunity?

NT: I really don’t think it matters as much in today’s age where you live in the world to make and release music. There are so many tools at our disposal to make music completely on our own and release it online to the whole world. There’s also ways to record remotely with members all in completely different parts of the world. Basic recording equipment is more affordable than ever before now. But I do think it is very important to have fellow musicians who you can work with and who inspire you to do better. There is only so much we can do completely on our own, and we all have our strengths and specialties which we can combine to make things truly great.

What possible continuation can you imagine for the band? How different could 2023 be for Slog?

NT: We are going to release another record when the inspiration hits us just like we did the last 2 years, and will continue to do until we keel over and die.

WEB: https://slog333.bandcamp.com/

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