Treedeon – Under the Manchineel (2018) REVIEW

German sludge metal band Treedeon are straight up fuming on their second full-length ‘Under the Manchineel’. Fed up with apathy, greed, and ills of the planet the lyric sheet reads direct to point of the problematic existence of humans. I love to see punk inspired music offer solutions beyond problems and Treedeon’s explorations of violent retribution, rebellion, and enviro-spirituality are exceptionally conveyed. Unafraid to make ugly noise alongside a massive sludge guitar tone and distorted basslines Treedeon pull influences from ancient noise rock and sludge to great effect. Big fuzzy riffed stoned-ass sludge experimentations pull from the off-kilter musings of Melvin‘s ‘Bullhead’ as much as they invoke an appropriately millennial vison of Buzzoven‘s ‘To A Frown’. The banging 90’s riffing is irresistible for a guy like me who grew up idolizing classic sludge rock and AmRep noise rock.

The first point of interest in Treedeon’s sound isn’t necessarily the noise rock influences, though they are key, in fact their socially conscious, extreme and stripped down sludge metal will live and die for most listeners by the dual vocal performances. Arne Heesch of grungy-noisers Ulme alternates his Matt Pike-ish shouted duties with the alterna-punk influenced performance of ex-Jingo De Lunch bandleader Yvonne Ducksworth. If you’re expecting Ducksworth’s melodic punk rock vocals from her 90’s projects rather than the harsh music found here, she’s not about to put a pretty or ‘fun’ spin on the hellish sludge mantras of ‘Under the Manchineel’. Some of the vocal performances start to lean towards feeling a bit hardcore-ish with their stripped down approach compared to the first album ‘Lowest Level Reincarnation’ in terms of sheer layers. The result sounds more true to the live sound of the band and fittingly dries out the warm, blurry mix.

Treedeon is a big, looming poisonous beast that smartly uses noise/sludge rock aesthetics to guild their bitter doom riffing and impassioned diatribes against corruption and mass stupidity. Drawing a coherent line between the shared pools of The Jesus Lizard‘s glue-huffing grooves and early Melvins-alike sludge rockin’ heaviness cranked up to modern sludge guitar standards is no small feat, and there are very few groups who’d even try. They’re most successful on “Breathing a Vein” where Ducksworth’s harmonizing and Heesch’s shouting collide atop big stoner doom riffs. “No Hell” also struck a chord with me largely because it reminded me of High on Fire‘s ‘Surrounded by Thieves’ heaviness and unexpected rhythms. I’d like to hear more of what Ducksworth did on “Manchineel” where the song builds up to a center plateau of her shouting and riffs out once she’s made her point, I found the tension of the song very effective. Recommended for old school sludge, sludge rock, noise rock fans, and a big grab for fans of Heesch’s work in Ulve.


Artist Treedeon
Type Album
Released February 23, 2018
BUY/PREVIEW on EoM’s Website Follow Treedeon on Facebook

My inner gravity. 3.5/5.0

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