Slimelord’s Chytridiomycosis Relinquished Is the Death Metal Record You Need in Your LIfe

Photo: Bradley Lightfoot

On their first three EPs, English death metal outfit Slimelord established themselves as a band to watch, peddling a weird brand of death/doom that sounded like it came from a swamp, as the name suggests. On their first full-length album, the unpronounceably-named Chytridiomycosis Relinquished, they get weirder and gnarlier, making for one of the year’s first standout death metal records.

According to Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, chytridiomycosis is “an infectious disease of amphibians caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis” and has “caused the decline or complete extinction of over 200 species of frogs and other amphibians.” It’s a waterborne disease that affects their skin, feeding habits, sense of balance and other terrible fates. It’s also the perfect title for a death metal record with a psychedelic focus (just look at that cover art!) on nature.

Slimelord still operate from a death/doom base on Chytridiomycosis Relinquished, but they aren’t too committed to one idea or sound. Opener “The Beckoning Bell” and closer “Heroic Demise” are definitely the most traditional of the batch, but Slimelord speed things up and slow them down without warning, working in mesmerizing guitar solos and ominous melodies. Second track “Gut-Brain Axis” channels similar filth to Tomb Mold’s Planetary Clairvoyance, packing alluring melodies on top of crawling doom.

Chytridiomycosis Relinquished continues in this manner for its runtime, pulling ideas and field samples from wherever strikes their fancy; it’s a record with a lot of ideas and they all work, somehow. There are sounds that recall Tomb Mold, Worm, Demilich, Incantation, Krypts and plenty more, alongside universally stellar performances. In addition to the aforementioned guitar work, bassist John Riley and drummer Ryan Sheperson brought their A game, with the latter especially going to town when required.

Death metal fans of all stripes should take heed of Chytridiomycosis Relinquished. It’s a melting pot of ideas that goes fast, slow, up, down, right and left without stumbling. It’s out now on 20 Buck Spin, so hear it for yourself.