Ever listen to Slayer’s early stuff and think “man, this would be so much better if it was downtuned and wayyyyy slower?” Because if you have, we now know exactly what that would sound like, as a doom metal supergroup called SLOWER released their take on the classic Slayer track “War Ensemble.”
Originally released back in 1990 on Seasons in the Abyss, “War Ensemble” is usually a blistering track that only takes under five minutes to kick your teeth in. Yet with SLOWER’s version, you might as well double that length, as the nearly 11 minute song takes its time dragging you through the pits of Hell.
SLOWER is comprised of Monolord’s Esben Willems on drums, Lowrider’s Peder Bergstrand on bass, Year of the Cobra vocalist Amy Barrysmith, Kylesa vocalist Laura Pleasants, Fu Manchu’s Bob Balch on guitars, and Kyuss bassist Scott Reeder.
Barrysmith said “War Ensemble” was the first track she tackled with SLOWER, saying the idea was to “have fun and be creative” with the slowed down version.
“I decided to look at it as if it were an original piece, not a cover, and not Slayer. Pretty easy to do, honestly. The riffs slowed down really created a life of their own. It’s genius in so many ways! From there, creating the melody and harmony lines and fitting in the lyrics came quickly and easily. I’m excited to finally share this with everyone and grateful to have had the opportunity to collaborate with such inspiring and talented musicians.”
With so many personalities in one band, Balch said the collaborative nature of SLOWER really stems from an idea that was sparked a couple years ago.
“The idea for the SLOWER project started around four years ago. I was teaching a student how to play ‘South Of Heaven’ by Slayer but she was a beginner so we slowed it down. I thought that sounded cool so I tuned down to B standard and tried it. I added some drums and thought “someone in the doom community should do this and name it SLOWER.”
Along with “War Ensemble,” SLOWER recorded “The Antichrist,” “Blood Red,” “Dead Skin Mask,” and “South of Heaven” for their self-titled debut, which is due out on January 26. You can preorder your copy of Slower today.
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