Friday, December 3, 2010

Dukalaton - "Saved by Fear" (2009) [Relapse Records]

            Dukatalon is a sludge band founded in Israel. The band is comprised of Zafrir Zori (vocals and guitar), Lior Mayer (bass), and Yariv Shilo (drums). This band is super heavy with many typical elements of the sludge genre. Characteristics one would find in sludge are super heavy, distorted guitars, harsh vocals, slow to medium tempo songs, and heavy, powerful drumming (ranging in degree of complexity). This band delivers especially with their super heavy, distorted sound. In terms of sludge, you can’t go wrong with Dukatalon.

            “Saved by Fear” has a very interesting album cover. It seems that the band tried to compile something to physically represent fear. In my opinion, the thing on the cover does a good job of depicting what fear might look like. A few tracks to make mention of. First is the title track ‘Saved by Fear’, which is entirely acoustic. This is my favorite track on the album simply because it is completely different from the rest. Like I said, the song is entirely acoustic with a very pretty melody. This song seems to present a break from all the harsh, dirty, heavy songs before it; as well as to prepare the listener for the rest of the harsh, dirty, and heavy to come. ‘Vagabond’ is another strong track on this album. This song has a very catchy, groovy riff which is further enhanced by some very creative, moving drum work. Finally, the final track ‘Mekonent’ brings the album to a close with yet another brutally heavy, groovy riff.

            When I think of sludge, I expect to hear super heavy distortion, harsh vocals, groovy riffs, and good drum work. Dukatalon did not disappoint. As a whole, this album fits all aspects of the sludge genre. The difference is that intense emotion and energy can be felt while listening. In my listening experience, this is not an easy task to accomplish. If a band can transfer the energy to the listener from the medium of a CD, then they have done their job. Also, these guys live in Israel. To found and maintain a sludge band in this area is impressive (whether you like sludge or not). Whenever I stumble upon a heavy metal band from the Middle East, I am always curious as to what their influences are, how they became exposed to those influences, how they acquired musical instruments and other gear, how they managed to find people with similar music tastes, and finally, how they survive in the music business. All of the above questions seem to make a Middle Eastern heavy metal band more alluring. Pick up a copy of “Saved by Fear” at Relapse Records online store  and help keep Dukatalon alive and well in such a troubled and dangerous area of the world.

- Pat



  1. They acquire musical instruments by buying them, with money, from a music everyone else; they were exposed to their influences by buying cds, internet, friends... like everyone else; and its weird, but they find people with similar taste just like everyone else too.

    1. Exactly. I apologize for Pat's ignorance and feel ridiculous for not catching this sooner. He does not write for us anymore.


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