Slaves on Dope
The ILS Group
Release Date: October 7, 2016
I have to admit that Slaves on Dope is a band I have heard here and there over the years but never really paid much attention to. That all changes with the release of their fifth proper album, Horse.
Horse is an album centering around all the people in the world suffering from addiction and echoing a message of hope and recovery. The album features appearances by DMC, HR from Bad Brains, and Bill Kelliher from Mastodon. Musically, this reminds me so much of what Metallica would have been had they continued down the Rock and Roll route and eventually settled in. It’s hard to pick songs here to hone in on because this is one of the best start to finish records I have heard in years…and definitely the best I have heard in 2016.
“Health, Food, and Heroin” inches out the others I suppose with its unrelenting guitar work and Hetfield-esque vocal snarls. The heaviness explodes into a huge chorus and I’m always a sucker for an anthem. The groovier riffs of “Script Writer” are a favorite here as well. While it’s definitely a true blue Rock and Roll tune, the Punk influenced drumming and the angst-ridden vocal sneer give it a more dynamic twist than some of the other songs. About two-thirds of the way through the song the band get down and dirty and take a backseat to Rock and Roll Hall of Famer DMC before kicking it back into high gear. The more melodic “Codependency” is a highlight as well, offering a fresh take on the oft-overlooked good things that came from Nu-Metal.
The fact is, Horse is a helluva ride that any fan of Rock or Metal will fall in love with. The band are unstoppable on this album from the memorable riffs to the dynamic twists that keep the ride interesting to the positive and passionate lyrical content. Horse is the complete package and you should not pass this one by.
Reviewed by mark1340