Hot off the Press

The Lord Weird Slough Feg | Box Set

by Justin Gaines
– News Editor / Senior Photojournalist –

Lord Weird Slough FegIf you’ve heard of the San Francisco (by way of Pennsylvania) heavy metal band Slough Feg, you probably seen the word “cult” used to describe them. That’s a fair description, seeing as how the band has been active since 1990 without ever getting much attention. Much like Broca’s Helm and Manilla Road, Slough Feg (which started out under the name The Lord Weird Slough Feg) has been a secret that was closely guarded by their very dedicated fans.

Newly signed to the Metal Blade label, the band’s cult days may be behind them, and their fans may have to share this very creative band with the larger metal community. This new box set, which reaches back to the band’s early days as The Lord Weird Slough Feg will help with that. Now the band’s long out of print albums – 1998’s Twilight of the Idols, 2000’s Down Among the Deadmen and 2003’s Traveller – are once again available in this 3-disc offering.

It’s tough to describe Slough Feg’s sound, as there really aren’t any bands quite like them. If you can imagine the galloping leads and sheer energy of the first couple of Iron Maiden albums coupled with the Celtic melodies and folk elements of Skyclad plus the dramatic vocals of the early Falconer albums, that’s probably close to the mark. NWOBHM meets folk metal maybe? That vibe is especially strong on Twilight of the Idols and Down Among the Deadmen, which sound like what Iron Maiden might have been had they hailed from the Scottish highlands. The lyrical focus of those two albums was mainly centered on Celtic themes, though each album had a song or two about the mysteries and evolution of the human mind, which is a recurring theme on later Slough Feg efforts. With Traveller, the band shifted a bit, both musically and lyrically. The album is a heavier, doom metal influenced affair with a heavy science fiction concept. It’s good to see a band evolve and not get trapped in a rut, especially when the results are this good. Traveller feels like a natural evolution of the Slough Feg sound, and it’s every bit as memorable as the previous albums.

There isn’t any bonus material in this set, and if the albums have been remastered they’re not publicizing that fact. It sounds like they’ve been cleaned up at least a little. Still, when you’re getting three classic metal albums in one place at a fairly low price point, there’s not much to complain about.

If you’re one of the initiated, one of the Slough Feg cult, this box set is only going to be useful if you haven’t yet been able to track down these three albums. For most fans though, this set is the perfect way to enter the wild, strange world of The Lord Weird Slough Feg. And if you’re a fan of traditional, folk, and/or doom metal (anywhere from Iron Maiden to Skyclad to Candlemass to Falconer to Elvenking), Slough Feg is a band that you’re going to kick yourself for not discovering long ago.

Genre: Heavy Metal

Band:
Mike Scalzi (v) (g)
Greg Haa (d)
Scott Beach (b, disc 1)
Jon Torres (b, disc 2)
Adrian Maestas (b, disc 3)
John Cobbett (g, disc 2-3)

Track Listing:

Disc 1 – Twilight of the Idols
1. Funeral March
2. Highlander
3. High Season II
4. The Pangs of Ulster
5. Brave Connor Mac
6. The Wickerman
7. Slough Feg
8. The Great Ice Wars
9. Life in the Dark Age
10. Warpspasm
11. Bi-Polar Disorder
12. The Wizard’s Vengeance
13. We’ll Meet Again
14. Bagpipe Outro

Disc 2 – Down Among the Deadmen
1. Sky Chariots
2. Walls of Shame
3. Warriors Dawn
4. Beast in the Broch
5. Heavy Metal Monk
6. Fergus Mac Roich
7. Cauldron of Blood
8. Troll Pack
9. Traders and Gunboats
10. Psionic Illuminations
11. Marauder
12. High Season
13. Death Machine

Disc 3 – Traveller
1. The Spinward Marches
2. High Passage/Low Passage
3. Asteroid Belts
4. Professor’s Theme
5. Vargr Moon
6. Vargr Theme/Confrontation (Genetic Prophesy)
7. Baltech’s Lament
8. Gene-ocide
9. Curse of Humaniti
10. The Final Gambit
11. The Spinward Marches (Return)
12. Addendum Galactus

Label: Metal Blade

Website: http://www.sloughfeg.com

Hardrock Haven rating: 8.5/10

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