From the frozen tundras of Minnesota comes a spiritual successor to that Noothgrush/Corrupted split from 20 years back (which was recently reissued by 20 Buck Spin). Though I’ve never heard of either act before, both No Funeral and Livid both play sludge metal the bad ol’ fashioned way, stretching just three songs over 37 minutes of downtuned despondency and despair.
No Funeral’s up first with a pair of tracks between eight and 11 minutes long. “Infection” sets in first, an eight-and-a-half-minute cut of slow-motion sickness that takes a little while to get going. After a bleak, 90-second opening bass line, the first riffs strike alongside some pounding percussion, albeit still moving at a snail’s pace. A slow buildup just past the three-minute mark leads into a lumbering, head-nodding riff that sounds sorta like Sleep, although the vocals are very much of the cough-syrup variety. After a gurgling, churning interlude, we’re back to the slow ‘n heavy riffs, with the vocals getting more guttural in the process.
“Disease Brought by Depression” begins with a wave of swirling feedback. This one doesn’t really get going until nearly the three minute-mark, another super-slow slice of lumbering sludge, this one lasting almost 11 minutes. The riffs and vocals have a bit of an Eyehategod vibe, although any tempo changes are few and far between. We do get a decent less-than-mid-paced groove around the five-minute mark, before it all comes crashing to a crawl about a minute later. And the gurgling crunch that starts up after seven minutes is almost more death metal than sludge—but in that old-school, death ‘n roll type vibe.
Livid takes over Side B with one 18-and-a-half-minute song. “False Hope” starts off slow and sparse, with the full band not coming in for a good two-plus minutes. The initial riffs sound sorta like Pallbearer, and the vocals are the same sort of plaintive wails you’d hear from Arkansas’s ambassadors of sorrow. This one drags on a little long, without offering any major change of pace, ultimately serving as bleak background music on a cloudy, dreary day.