Battlefields – Thresholds of Imbalance (Translation Loss)

Saturday, 16th March 2013
Rating: 7/10

A boggy, almost stagnant doom concoction, Battlefields are yet another in a long line of sludge doom bands that like to make impatient people (read: me) wait for good things to develop. More often than not, they do, which perhaps is the whole trick behind Thresholds of Imbalance, but it’s hardly gratifying. It’s an album you have to work for, devote time to, nurture, so we’ll leave it up to you doom-heads to figure it out.

The methodical nature of this album is obvious from the get-go, as opener “Disacknowledge” gradually builds up a wall of muddled guitars after a soft intro. “Blueprint” (which is probably the best jam of the bunch) is similar, but has a lovely Isis-esque mid-section that is executed flawlessly…after five minutes of build-up and waiting and waiting.

One could make the argument (and distinction) that Battlefields falls in line with the whole post-metal gang (Neurosis, the aforementioned Isis, Rosetta, etc.), but a deeper dive into Thresholds of Imbalance sorta dispels that notion, as hard as songs like “Quake and Flood” and closer “Majestic” try. There’s no true correlation here; Battlefields belongs in the sludge/doom fray.

It’s a shoe-in this will be accepted by doom throng; it’s got everything you want and more, including retro-Sabbath riffs, slo-mo tempos, and lots of pedestrian happenings. Call it a matter of preference, but this one’s a marathon. Make sure you pace yourself.

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