Sound — 8
Hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area of Pennsylvania, heavy metal rockers Slough Feg first emerged back in 1996 following the release of their debut studio album, "The Lord Weird Slough Feg." The band's noticeable influences including Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy and Uriah Heep were somewhat lost behind the degenerative artwork which so poorly graced its cover, however those metal listeners who were actively seeking out new talent during the late 1990s would be surprised at the performance included on Slough Feg's debut.
Since the release of their debut album, Slough Feg have remained active within the heavy metal music scene, making what appears to be a conscious effort to regularly release new material. Perhaps even more interestingly, Slough Feg has been the starting point for many musicians who after leaving their former group went on to become part of more renowned acts. Throughout the years, Slough Feg has been home to such talent as John Cobbett (GWAR, Ludicra) and Jon Torres (Angel Witch, Heathen).
While Slough Feg has only maintained their original lead vocalist Michael Scalzi throughout their multiple lineup changes, the band now has kept a concrete formation for the past seven years, with each of its current members appearing on a minimum of three studio albums. Fueled by an experienced roster and choice musical influences, Slough Feg smash their way into 2014 with their first outing comprised of all-original material in four years, entitled "Digital Resistance."
Slough Feg doesn't attempt to move into any new territory with their new album; instead the band maintains the same formula which has made such recent efforts as "The Animal Spirits" and "Hardworlder" so positively received by the heavy metal community. The band's proper use of identifiable Iron Maiden and Thin Lizzy elements are widely apparent throughout cuts such as the melodic anthem "Habeas Corpus" and the bass driven "Laser Enforcer."
The dueling guitar melodies attributed by Scalzi and Angelo Tringali are one of the driving characteristics found throughout such songs as "Ghastly Appendage" and "Curriculum Vitae," whereas "The Luddite" forges a standout collision of both distortion and acoustic. The production quality throughout this album is notable as it aids in providing a nostalgic element to the entire piece, similar to that found on Thin Lizzy's "Vagabonds of the Western World."
Lyrics — 7
Longtime frontman Michael Scalzi executes an enjoyable performance throughout "Digital Resistance" that clearly pays tribute to his influences, while also contributing some of his own personal style. Elements of Bruce Dickinson and Philip Lynott's approach are clearly implemented in the album's title track and "Warrior's Dusk," while maintaining enough unique qualities to differentiate himself from the aforementioned vocalists.
Overall Impression — 8
In short, Slough Feg deliver a consistently solid performance throughout their ninth studio album, "Digital Resistance." The band draws plenty of noticeable influences from renowned names within the rock and metal genres, however the end product is identifiably unique and comes warmly recommended.