Days after receiving French band Oruga’s 2013 reissue of their self-titled EP from 2011 as a press kit from Apathia Records, I went into Sludge Metal mode, reminiscent of the time I damaged my ears while going through the old Mastodon collection. This time however, there was no mercy, not a single mellow song in the album which gives you a break nor any technically impressive classical solos to take the edge off the heaviness of the music. Whether that makes Oruga’s music bad or good is totally up to you, but what’s certain is that they are relentless in their approach to Sludge music, constantly heavy, with that fuzzy distortion attack destroying your speakers every second, really living up to the style’s reputation as one of the nastiest forms of Heavy Metal.
The songs might drag (average of 6 minutes per track) and wear you out, but Oruga were not aiming to gain the average Metalhead’s approval to begin with. They want to award the veteran Sludge Metal fans with 100% pure Sludge without adding Progressive or whatnot to the mix, therefore ruining the original flavor.
Although repetitive at times, the riffing on this album is quite fierce, although not technical in nature, and the drumming opts for a minimalist approach to give room for the low tuned drone-like guitars and cavemen growls. The album does not follow a certain concept and it does not have a lasting after-effect so to speak. What it does is basically say “like this music or get the fuck out”, and that’s perfectly acceptable with most fans who are looking to lose themselves in the destructiveness of the music instead of focusing on the lyrical themes and album mood variation to satisfy their minds.
This is a primitive and raw display of Metal music a its best: dirty, heavy as fuck and relentless. A salute to cavemen everywhere!