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Slug Comparison - When You Were Living Here CD (album) cover


Slug Comparison


Crossover Prog

3.59 | 9 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Slug Comparison is the name of the project from Doug Harrison who is from the black metal band "Fen". At this point, there has only been one other full length album and an EP both released in 2014. On this, the 2nd album, called "When You Were Living Here", Doug is joined by several additional musicians, the core of which are some who are also in the band "Fen", but also other guest musicians, and also a shout choir on one of the tracks. The core band consists of drummer Randall Stoll, bassist Mike Young (who has also played for Devin Townsend), Sam Levin on guitar and string arrangements, and Jeff Caron on bass on certain tracks.

"Exactly What to Do" starts with an upbeat and heavy track which serves as a great opener. It's a great track, but is mostly a standard heavy rocker. Doug is a decent vocalist for the style of music and there are some good harmonics too. "Hyperslump" is a less heavy track, but still quite upbeat, and with a slight jazz edge to it and a couple of good guitar solos. "Let Some Light" leans more towards an acoustic guitar led track with a mid-tempo pop/rock beat and a bit of an increase in intensity on the bridge. Nice jam during the instrumental break between the electric and acoustic guitars. It's the lyrics that are most important on this track as Doug shows off his great songwriting skills, but with a lot of interesting support in the instruments.

"Fine With It" is a more thoughtful track, with some stellar and emotional vocals. The track is much more laid back and ballad- like with no percussion. Again, we get a lovely guitar solo on the break. Doug also shows off his vocal range as he hits his high register for a short passage. Beautiful song, but still light on the prog. "Thoughts" returns to the straightforward rock sound this time with a heavier bottom end, but remaining very accessible with a strong beat. "When You Were Living Here" is a pensive and slow track with airy vocals, soft guitar and some processed strings. Slow percussion comes in later as the vocals become more emotional. The melody is a bit more complex and dramatic this time, as the idea here is much more involved. Once again, we have another lovely ballad that builds in intensity until it is almost in the same vein as a slow track from "Anathema" or "Opeth" at their softest.

"Becoming" is a mid-tempo, mostly acoustic track. It is almost folk-ish in nature, at least in the independent neo-folk music style. "So Ya Got a Great Guitar" is the track with the shout choir. Instantly, we have a heavier song with a hard driving beat. The melody is a little more complex again, approaching a prog-metal-lite feel, but with way too much restraint placed upon the entire performance to keep things accessible. The choir is not utilized as well as you would hope only coming in at the last minute. "Hold of You" is another slow acoustic led ballad with some nice "Opeth-style" harmonics.

"Beings Far Away" begins with a pensive, acoustic led vocal about a lonely alien (?) or is it about a young person with an over- active imagination, I'm not sure. There is a nice acoustic solo backed by a slow rhythm on the break. Light synths add to the atmosphere of the track later and things turn spacey for a short time at the end. "Purple Monkey" stay in the slow, pensive feeling of the last couple tracks with vocals supported by an acoustic pattern. I think this was supposed to be a slow, dark section of the album, but the darkness was missed because of the attempt to keep things mostly accessible. So you don't get the "Porcupine Tree" element they may have been shooting for. Instead it's just pleasant ballads, that start to feel a little washed out after a while. The last track, "One More Step", ends the album with a heavier track with a bit more complexity, but still mostly straightforward.

Overall, the album is very accessible with some sections getting more complex than others, but once you get to the end, you can feel the restraint put on the overall performance. There is, however, no doubt that Harrison is a great lyricist that can match great melodies to words. Harrison is also a great, emotional vocalist and guitarist. The album itself is mostly light on the progressivness, but a step above most standard rock/pop. With less restraint put on the music striving to keep things accessible, this album could have been much better, but for the most part, as it is, it struggles to rise above standard rock. There are other good aspects, such as the excellent tracks "Fine With It" and the title track, which prove that there is some great talent and potential here, but as an entire album, it doesn't rise to excellence, however it remains a good album worth a few listens.

TCat | 3/5 |


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