Monday, November 17, 2008

Twilight Of The Idols

Of all the things that make me proud to call San Francisco home, the food, the heroin, the weather... none cause such a swelling in my breast as The Lord Weird Slough Feg. For those of you who don't know, Slough Feg (for short) are a true Heavy Metal band influenced by Maiden, Thin Lizzy, Celtic Mythology and fantasy role playing games. The band has never released a dud, but it is their second album, Twilight Of The Idols, that I most often reach for when I need a Feg fix. This is by far their most daring work with some forrays into 70s style hard rock, and classic doom, some acoustic songs, bagpipes, and the Slough Feg trademark: the charismatic voice of Mike Scalzi. This one also contains what many consider their finest song, "The Wickerman." Slough Feg often gets compared to Manilla Road. Both bands have remained consistent and true to their metal, even when real Heavy Metal wasn't cool. Both bands have enigmatic, unique frontmen. However, Slough Feg always seemed more intrepid in their approach. Twilight Of The Idols is easily one of the best metal albums of the 1990s. You need it. Added bonus of bizarre cover art by D&D artist Erol Otus. Lawful awesome!

29 comments:

Jace said...

Oh man, thanks for this one. This was one of the first albums I ever purchased via mail-order (from some distro that had an ad in Metal Maniacs in like '99) and it remains one of my all-time favorite records. Definitely one of the bands that makes me most forcefully opine to people that "if there were any justice in the world..."

Drinking beer in the kitchen out of a horn!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Erich said...

wow that's a great one! never heard of this band before but that's the kind of stuff that gets my horn swollen!

Omar said...

In my opinion, SLough Feg has created one of the finest and most consistent discographies in Heavy Metal. My personal favorites are Traveller and Down Among the Deadmen, but this is still a fantastic album.

brandi said...

The Tess loves Mike's voice so much on Hammers' recordings that I recently played her this one. She's a slow adopter... but I think it's growing on her.

nick said...

I still think that their 1st full length smokes this record. the only one thats on par is HARDWORLDER

Jake Thee Pope said...

Undoubtedly one of the few bands that understands the use of guitar harmonies, epic melodies and mysticism needed to create a metal masterpiece. I played "Atavism" every day for nearly two years-- could never get enough of "I Will Kill You/You Will Die" and "Hiberno-Latin Invasion"... as good as it gets in any genre. Same deal with "Marauder" and "Sky Chariots" from Deadmen. Can't say they've ever released a note I haven't enjoyed.

Must admit I'm not particularly fond of Hammers of Misfortune; I hear very little actual METAL in their sound, and I've never been a fan of combos with multiple vokillists... but I'm (as always) likely in the minority here.

PS - How do you choose where to flaunt your civic jingoism? SF must have one of the most fertile music scenes on the planet-- and always have. Shit, I'd be pretty happy coming from the same locale where Blue Cheer busted their first heads with their Cromagnon Crunch!

MediaBlitz said...

Killer LP. Never heard this before today and it blew me away.

Aesop said...

San Francisco has always been a fertile ground for great and unique bands, and generally unresponsive and unappreciative audiences. Slough Feg aren't really revered here like they are in Europe or even other parts of the USA. I remember a time back before 98 or so, when a Slough Feg show meant seeing 5 or 6 people who sorta "got it." They chronicle that era on the song "Life In The Dark Ages" There not talking about the dark ages, but rather the drak age for metal in San Francisco. I love that. Scalzi and Slough Feg are a San Francisco institution as much as any cable car or landmark. It's awesome that there are some who have never heard this and are being moved by it. I strongly urge those folks to look into their entire dicography.

T. Garrett said...

this band RULES! i have to say traveller is my favorite though.

vugelnox said...

I heard of these guys from hearing Hammers of Misfortune a few years back. As absolutely brilliant and flawless from all angles I think The August Engine is these guys slowly edged them out in my mind as the finest traditional metal band post 1990. I do like the new double Hammers album as much it sees them leaving metal further behind to explore a more mellow 70s vibe. I figure as long as Slough Feg keeps cranking out great new albums like the mighty Hardworlder then I'm ok with Hammers going off in that direction.

I gotta go with Traveller as their finest hour although I agree with the notion that far from not having any bad albums the band doesn't really have a single bad song to their credit across six albums. A task that within metal is practically impossible. Not only that but they have carved a sound that is uniquely theirs as Maiden and Priest were before them. One of the top 10 bands around today, no question about that.

DiNo said...

Mike Scalzi's one of my all-time favourite vocalists! How could you listen to metal and NOT like his voice? He's got the ultimate metal throat! And Slough Feg is certainly not the only great band hailing from SF... ;)

Aesop said...

Scalzi is an enigma. Apparently teaching ethics and philosophy at a state university these days.

chrisc said...

quite possibly the greatest heavy metal band in the world right now.they take elements from all eras of hard rock and metal but manage to sound like nothing else,other than themselves.thank you once again.

NICKTHRONE said...

if anyone has the SLOUGH FEG demos please let me know

Anonymous said...

this is the one that got me into 'em. I later scored the first one (original press) @ Amoeba in 2003, then all the rest on vinyl.

they are far and away one of my favorite metal bands ever. always entertaining live as well.

fotos, cie vous play :
http://www.flickr.com/photos/61572063@N00/sets/72157609319357095/

note the costume changes and the George Benson LP !

Hail Slough feg, download then BUY ! ! !

Aesop said...

Nick, I have those demos. Got them from Gossard. Will upload them somewhere and send you a link.

Roger Camden said...

Quite good.

I rarely approve of D&D, but I heartily approve of this.

Jon said...

This was my first Slough Feg record, and probably for that reason is my favorite. Makes me think that more SF metal classics would be appreciated here. Brocas Helm comes to mind.

Adrian said...

Erol Otus!!! has he done any of there other album covers? i'm looking into the entire discography after this message. thanks for the post

William said...

They always do the coolest covers, too, Street Jammer, and I didn't even realize that one was a cover, The Wizard's Vengeance...I just heard it on the Legend album that you posted a little while back. I saw them live in Portland and they just killed it. Doobtastic.

Dave G said...

Wow first I open my ears to Cirith Ungol after 20 + years of ignorance and now this. Thanks Aesop this one is excellent.

Aesop said...

Well, Dave, you have some homework. Get Cirith Ungol's "King of The Dead", and Slough Feg's "Down Among The Dead Men," "Traveller," "Atavism," and "Hard Worlder" and immerse yourself in true AMERICAN heavy metal splendor.

tanakabaka said...

oh! I love Brocas Helm!!!!!! Wizard picking is craaaazzyy!!! I thought Erol Otus did all the album covers, but I'm often wrong or even accidentally creating new facts. I HAVE to move back up and sign up for classes at State - that would be amazing.

Is it midnight yet?

Exploder said...

Without a doubt Slough Feg is the best heavy metal in America right now (and for the last, what, ten or fifteen years?). I've been listening to them since I saw them in Denver on the Atavism tour. The typical Denver show was myself and a couple true metal friends and, hopefully, the members of the opening bands. And yet Slough Feg just keep on playing there, being the Gods of Heavy Metal that they are. Hard to say which record is best, since they all fulfill new heights in the genre, but Atavism typically spars with Traveller or Hardworlder for my personal favorite, though I don't leave the house without their entire discography on my mp3 player.

Anonymous said...

Some more Slough Feg live photo action, if anyone needs more convincing:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilmcallister/sets/72157613583703650/

I've actually had the good fortune to hang out with Mike at one of his shows with two of his buddies from his Masters program in philosophy. Whhhoooooaaaaahhhh...

Aesop said...

Mike is an amazing person, I always cherish the time spent with him. Riotous.

blort said...

What an amazing treat it was to see this band last night. Amazing!! Cant say anything that hasn't been said here already except HOLY SHIT!! Bay Area treasure.
Mike the singer i guess? Walked passed us and had a George Benson record i believe(?) for some reason that he held up and placed in front of his face as he shook our hands...wtf?

dhd said...

Always a band I thought that I *should* listen to but never got around to it. I eventually ended up here by:

1) Being a fan of Ludicra and thinking I should check out Hammers of Misfortune since John Cobbett's riffs are so awesome.

2) Getting hooked on Hammers of Misfortune and thinking I should check out Slough Feg since Mike Scalzi's vocals are so awesome.

blort said...

So ive felt compelled to revisit this post and say that this band has been bringing me so much joy the last few months. EASILY one of the best heavy metal bands ive ever listened to and a new favorite. Might as well be the only band on my ipod at the moment. No "duds" indeed.
Once again thanks for the turn on Aesop. Keep em coming.