Album Reviews

Slack Babbath – Mastered Reality Review

Released by: Digitally via Band’s Website

Release date: Out Now

Genre: Metal

Links: slackbbathnc.com

 

Lineup:

Tony Rhodesbag- Guitar

Nasty Watson- Vocals

Capp – Bass

Toy – Drums

 

Track Listing:

01. Paranoid

02. Sweet Leaf

03. Children of the Grave

 

Tribute and cover bands exist for many reasons. Want to end a friendship? If you love tribute bads, find a friend that hates them and start the end of your relationship by discussing it. Whether you love them or hate them, they’re here to stay. There are a bunch of reasons they’re around. Sadly, a lot of musicians have to work in these bands in order to make any money making music. So many venues want bands that will play songs that radio plays ad infinitum in order to sell drinks rather than having you on stage pouring out your soul in your own music. I get that. I get the other side of the coin too (bands that are being paid homage to receive no compensation outside of possibly selling some merchandise by those discovering said tribute band,) but it doesn’t sway me away from loving the really good ones. Of course, there is a difference between a tribute and a cover. Tribute bands attempt to bring that same vibe the original band created to fans that may have missed out on them or those fans longing for that “one more time” moment, while cover bands tend to be bands slogging it out in bars that will likely never go anywhere, usually bands that are in the very beginning stages of finding themselves. What about a band that comes together that falls somewhere in between? What if a band forms that takes the essence of the songs in order to pay homage to one of the most important metal bands to ever walk the Earth (Black Sabbath) while at the same time making it their own? That’s what happens when you get North Carolina’s Slack Babbath.

Fithman Studio owner Steve Coleman has had this vision of doing something to show his love and respect for Black Sabbath for many years now. The time has finally come for his vision to become a reality. He has brought together a group of local musicians from various bands around the Charlotte area to breathe their own concept of what they hear when they listen to Sabbath. That’s the thing: everyone that listens to music with any regularity will hear something different from another listener (much like a group of people reading the same book will take away a different idea from it.) Despite injecting their own idea of what Sabbath sounds like to them, the handful of tracks that comprise their debut EP Mastered Reality are so much more faithful to the true vibe of what Sabbath were about. Working their way through “Paranoid,” “Sweet Leaf,” and “Children of the Grave” the band deliver the songs a bit heavier than the original, yet maintains the same spirit that Tony, Geezer, Bill and Ozzy started as they laid the groundwork down for the greatest genre of music ever: Metal. Coleman assumes the character of Tony Rhodesbag, delivering this heavy groove based guitar style matched deftly by James Nunn known simply as Capp who lays that grooving Geezer-esque bass while D.J. Buchanan lovingly referred to as Toy belts out a sonic beat that taps into the jazzy feel of Ward with a John Bonham heavy approach. All of it is brought together by Nasty Watson, the personage of vocalist Jason Sossoman, sounding nothing at all like Ozzy but his vocal delivery hits the nail on the head.

Black Sabbath nerds, be warned: this is not a note for note literal interpretation of the songs- this is how the songs are processed through the ears and hands of these fantastic musicians. Physical product is not yet available, but will be soon. For now, you can check out the songs at Reverbnation, but I’m pretty pumped about this project and wanted to go ahead and get the word out about it. As a lifelong fan of Black Sabbath, I’m excited to hear these tracks in such a way as presented by Slack Babbath. Also keep your eyes on http://www.slackbbathnc.com , for any new info about the project. Both the band and site are in its infancy stage, but I suspect some cool stuff to come out of this camp.

 

Written by: Chris Martin

Ratings: 8/10

 

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