Since they describe their sound as “Kentucky Doom Metal”, when I hit play on Slings & Arrows I was expecting a southern-fried, sludgy experience, not unlike Down. Instead, surprisingly, what I was a blackened offering more in line with the more aggressive moments from Agalloch. While still squarely a doom metal release, it makes use of a lot of the tools from the more atmospheric, depressive side of black metal, creating a result that I’ve never really heard before.
Dustin Grooms handles everything on the album and does a fantastic job. Everything serves the songs, everything is balanced perfectly, and no single element overshadows another. The only complaints is that during the brief spoken word sections that appear in some songs he sounds as if he lacks conviction. His tone and cadence sound very matter-of-fact, and there’s no emphasis or accentuation placed on any part of these passages. As such, they almost take the listener away from the scenes created by the rest of the music.
If you’re looking for an easily digested music experience that you can take in bite-sized portions at your leisure, Slings & Arrows is not for you. However, if you’re looking for a solemn, atmospheric and soulful doom metal journey, and you have the patience and time to simply allow it to wash over you, then this EP will definitely be worth your time. For those who take their metal with a dash of melancholia, this one comes highly recommended.