Maxmillion is a Californian sludge/doom outfit that also has an affinity for math rock, a la Tool or King Crimson. From the album’s artwork, to the thick and murky guitar riffs, Maxmillion is a rather enjoyable slab of metal goodness.

The album’s opener, “Waste Of Relations,” throws down the gauntlet with an also Bleach-era Nirvana riff, only to pummel the listener with a Streetcleaner-days Godflesh chorus. This song epitomizes what it is that Maxmillion strives to do with this album, that being both brutalize and confuse. About two minutes into the song, they start doing this weird melody thing with their guitars, while the drums get very technical. Coming out of this little excursion, the band jumps back into a riff similar to the chorus’s riff, but it’s lower, and dreadfully heavy. Yow-za!

“The Angel That Fell Through Earth” is a 100% fist in the air stomper, featuring some of the ugliest sounding, detuned guitars playing sludge of the blackest variety. The riffs after the chorus give moments of pause, at which time a really awesome vibrating feedback hums at the listener. It sounds awesome here, but I imagine it being deafening at one of these guys’ shows. The rest of the album’s songs follow a similar pattern, with some songs getting weird and trippy from time to time, but these guys, for the most part, stay true to the sludge.

I never did really get around to describing the vocals, which are actually quite good, when compared to others of this genre. In terms of their presence in the mix, the vocals are somewhat buried, unless you’re wearing headphones (as I am now). On headphones, this guy’s voice is bloody-throated and raspy as hell; it seems fairly obvious that he’s been in the metal racket for some time, as the delivery is both evil and painful, simultaneously. Without the headphones, the guitars dominate completely, which is OK with me, as I love sludge.

This is probably only something that death metal, sludge, and Southern Records metal (which is beyond sludge, to me!) fans would really like all that much. I can see black metal fans complaining that this record has too much bass guitar and not enough corpse paint or blast beats.

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