Slate – Deathless (Brace Yourself Records)

In the corner of a room, a bedroom, where feelings smoulder, manifest in a poem, a stream of consciousness, an emotional vomit. To create a body of art out of your inner most dreams and nightmares.

Slate live in the shadows, the dark nooks, the hidden recesses of your mind. They emote what you cannot.

Asleep, I settled

In a dream, somewhere

Under the white light

Just you and I, are there”

Deathless is an intense, brooding listen. It is searching for the light in the dark, it is optimistic in the hopeless. Helmed by Tom Rees, the mix is heavy, it is ginormous. After self producing the Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard new LP which lives in the darker echelons of the rock world (especially compared to the first LP), he seems to have been in the head space to ttranslate the Slate live performance on to record.

There’s the intensity of early The Verve in opening track, ‘Remoter Heaven’. When the swell is overwhelming and crashes over your like a wave of noir indie gloriousness, Jack Shephard propels a Richard Ashcroft vocal delivery, that huge but controlled vocal in the midst of the sonic madness. Elis Penri wrenching Nick McCabe sonics, Lauren Edwards bass is perfectly understated as her backing vocals over the fuzz and static feel Like Rachel Goswell and  Slowdive. Raychi Bryant is pummeling the life out of his kit, rolls and fills are bringing the roof in. It’s quite the statement for track one. A seven minute magnum opus.

Like their Welsh legendary peers, Manic Street Preachers, and in particular Richey Edwards, they use poetry as lyrics, the cadence still like a recital. What they are saying as important as how.

‘Heir’  begins like The Cure, Seventeen Seconds, but then naturally explodes into violence. There’s a rage when the cacophony comes crashing down like the sky is falling and the world is ending. A beautiful apocalypse. Snare battered like bombs on a city.

‘Sun Violence’ has a wonderfully crunchy Telecaster guitar sound, reverb and wah-wah that Penri strangles out of the neck and body. The pace goes up and scatter gun drums, rapier guitar and bass like a shells from a mortar. There’s a deep rage, incendiary hurt. It’s white hot and entrancing.

Deathless’ opens with spoken word poetry, underneath squalling feedback, it works as an interlude before their most recent single.

‘Shade In Me’ does begin with a Fontaines DC influenced guitar line but soon implodes. The chorus is the most immediate and naturally pop section of a song they’ve persuaded, Lauren’s harmonies a spectral and ethereal.

Hailstone’ breaks down, Jack is singing in a hole, a grave, percussion and bass like soil falling over his head. Then he bursts out of the ground, molten voice, cataclysmic distortion. Then it dies. Till it rises again.

Slate feel like a band that are doing this because they have to not because they want to. Like this is their calling. They’re a band you can get lost in, obsessed with, find yourself playing in a constant loop. Are they driving you mad or making you sane? Does it matter anymore. Drink it in.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.