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Dreams Of What Life Could Have Been CD

Due to the "optimistic" title of this compilation, one can be sure that the here included music is free from sweet harmonies and uplifting grooves. Well, some of the bands, which are featured here, have some grooves, but their effect is more like a slab with a sledgehammer than anything else. So, if you associate those vague descriptions with a musical genre like sludge and/or doom f.e., than you know what this compilation is all about. PsycheDOOMelic Records had added the subtitle "The Ultimate Sludge Compilation" on the cover, but this title would better fit to any compilation of the masters of sludge aka the US-label Shifty Records, as on this one. But that doesn't mean, that PsycheDOOMelic had done a bad job, because the choice of bands is very promising as we have here contributions from SOULPREACHER, FISTULA, GRIEF, THEE PLAGUE OF GENTLEMEN, NEGATIVE REACTION, RAMESSES and, at least, MOSS.

At first, there's another reason why this isn't the "ultimate" sludge compilation, because both GRIEF cuts have been released before. "Ostrich" had been taken from the last album, entitled "And Man Will Become The Hunted", while "Bored" has been previously released on a split 10" , together with a track from the band -16- on the flipside. But due to the reason that I'm a devot GRIEF-worshipper, I won't complain about this decision. Apart of the mighty GRIEF, another brilliant band here is FISTULA from Ohio, and as usual, both cuts are one the same high level, as their other material. I never heard any crap from this band, and the here included cuts "Crocodile Princess" and "Drug Smuggler" are consisting of all the trademarks, which makes this band so effective: a slightly fuzzed-out sound in combination with brutalized heavy riffs, effective crushing grooves, and the usual dose of sick vokills. The next two highlights here are "Beyond Despair" from MOSS and THEE PLAGUE OF GENTLEMEN with "Your love is king (of the dead) Part 2 & 3", that sounds as if Celtic Frost would jam together with Warhorse - outstanding! Especially MOSS have totally convinced me with their amp-shredding sound. This nihilistic three-piece, hailing from the UK, are coming up with a sound, where the birds will fall dead from the trees....... Although they can be compared with a band like Sunn O))), there's also a big difference: MOSS are complete pissed-off about this world, and more interested in destroying than in creating. The very few vocals parts have been vomited between the ultra-slow riffs, and due to the missing production this song is sounding super rough and dirt-filled, what is a big plus for the extreme heaviness of MOSS. Definitely a good idea to feature this unknown band, and a big positive surprise here on this CD.

RAMESSES, formed by two ex-members of Electric Wizard have chosen a nice song title with "Black Domina", but I expected more from this guys than just a bunch of average heavy riffs in combination with a Neurosis-like atmosphere. Another band, which never impresses me that much are NEGATIVE REACTION, and "Nod" won't change my opinion that much, but if you dig their previous albums and stuff, than you will be satisfied with this cut. When I noticed on the backcover, that SOULPREACHER have given two unreleased songs for this compilation, my expectations were very high (maybe too high....!), because their second album belongs to one of the criminial underrated doom albums of the last seven years. But sad to report, that for me "Remember the end" and "Whore" are nothing outstanding from this band, and I miss the energy and power from earlier days. All in all, this compilation isn't the "ultimate" sludge compilation, but it gives a good overview about this subgenre, that will always be a music for only a few listeners. If you dig this kind of heaviness as I do, it's it worth to get a copy of "Dreams..."