Overall Score: 8/10 Riffs: 9/10 Repeat Listen Value: 8/10 Consistency: 8/10 Pros: Celebrating the past while being part of the future Cons: Very little
It’s been two longs years since we least heard from Coventry Heavy Metal purveyors Pelugion, but just in time for the end of the world, the boys are back in town. Or so the song says.
As we know, 2020 has kept its list of highlights nice and short so far, but any new music from a band who have graced stages at the likes of Bloodstock and Godiva festivals is cause for celebration. Of course, it always helps when the music lives up to expectations.
‘2’ serves as a glimpse to Metal’s future while giving a heavy nod to its illustrious past. There are elements of Black Sabbath, Metallica and Black Label Society amongst others present, but this EP is much more than just re-hashing what has come before.
Opening track Sun Feeder is all about dirty riffs, and pounding drums, while we’re treated to the full vocal repertoire from Andrew Sweeney right off the bat. It crashes, swirls and batters you into submission before seamlessly gliding (If something this loud can ‘glide’) into the ominous Amen. The Black Sabbath influence is strong on this one, and the track is all the better for it. It’s part impending doom, and part runaway freight train. The contorted melodies from John Pittaway’s guitar and the varied and always powerful rhythms from Brandon Balou behind the drums just add to the chaos.
That being said from a sequencing point of view, the flow of the EP could have benefited from swapping the first couple of tracks around. The imposing nature of Amen running into the more aggressive Sun Feeder would have provided a ridiculous 1-2 punch you don’t quite get as things stand.
That minor quibble aside, Pelugion keep the hits coming in the form of Severed. This time our intrepid noise makers produce something reminiscent of mid 90’s Soundgarden as Sweeney channels his inner Chris Cornell. The fades and layering applied to his vocal along with his natural overall delivery brings back fond memories of the sadly departed Grunge legend. Underneath the swirling vocal is a track powered by a wonderfully sludgy, dirty Stoner Metal riff, and that combination makes the track one of the highlights of the EP.
Odyssey sees things take an unexpected by very enjoyable detour into an almost dreamlike acoustic interlude. It’s a very well timed and well executed palate cleanser.
The crunching riffs are quickly back into view however, with the arrival of Descend, which all things considered is probably the weakest effort on the EP. 90% of the track is perfectly serviceable, it’s solid, but you never hear people talk about how much they like fade-outs as a way to end songs for a reason. They’re terrible. And that is what really brings the track down, it comes off as lazy and unimaginative. And that’s a real shame as those are the last two words you can normally pin on the trio.
Thankfully Pelugion rouse themselves for a more fitting finale in the shape of The Calling. The band excels when they kick the pace into top gear, and they do that perfectly here. It’s a break-neck, balls to the wall, swaggering guitar solo filled. grandstand finish. That means it’s really good.
Having a long gap between releases as a smaller, unsigned band is a massive risk. So much of a band’s early days are about momentum, and breaks of any real length of time can absolutely kill that. And even from purely a music standpoint, we’ve all seen the fire go out with hot bands when they start taking breaks.
The biggest takeaway from this EP is that Pelugion have avoided those pitfalls. They’ve dropped a record of real quality and not only that, people care.
Pelugion’s new EP, 2, is out now.