Last Updated on 02:26 PM by Giorgos Tsekas
Slower is a new Slayer-covering doom supergroup featuring Fu Manchu’s Bob Balch (guitars), Kylesa’s Laura Pleasants (vocals), Year of the Cobra’s Amy Barrysmith (vocals), Lowrider’s Peter Bergstrand (bass), Kyuss’ Scott Reeder (bass), and Monolord’s Esben Willems (drums). Bob gives background on how it all came together:
“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.”A few years later I befriended Steven “Thee Slayer Hippy” Hanford, best known for his work as the drummer in the influential Oregon punk band Poison Idea. He was backstage at a FU MANCHU show. Oddly enough I was wearing a POISON IDEA shirt and he told me that my shirt sucks. I asked who he was and why he was in our backstage. He told me and I felt stupid. We started drinking whiskey and talking about music. We stayed in touch over the next year or so and during Covid I told him about my SLOWER idea. He asked me to send him tracks. I waited too long because the day I sent the tracks he passed away. Totally tragic. I’m glad I got to know him even for a few years. He was a monster musician with a giant heart.He will be greatly missed.I shelved the project for a while after that. One day Esben from MONOLORD posted about musical collaborations. I love MONOLORD so I thought what the hell. I sent him some tracks and he killed it on drums. So I sent more. Then more. Shortly after that we started reaching out other musicians to get them involved. That’s how we ended up with this lineup. Everyone that contributed completely knocked it out of the park and I can’t thank them enough.This project has been a long time coming and I’m beyond stoked on how it turned out. Without all of the players involved, Steven Hanford and my baritone Reverend guitar it wouldn’t have happened. Thanks to everyone involved and I hope you dig it! I’m a giant SLAYER fan so it’s been a treat to dig into these classic songs. Hopefully we can do another record in the near future. Look out for shows because they will happen!”
Slower’s self-titled debut album comes out January 26 via Heavy Psych Sounds (pre-order), and we’re now premiering “Blood Red.” The original is a mid-tempo groove/thrash rager from 1990’s Seasons in the Abyss, and Slower double it in length and turn it into something that sounds like Sleep or Electric Wizard.
“When I started this project I kind of had a feeling ‘Blood Red’ would find its way onto the chopping block,” Bob says. “The groove is undeniably heavy at any speed and the arrangement is pretty straight forward. I sent Esben some scratch tracks to jam to and he killed it as usual. Then I tracked my guitars with actual amps. We sent all of that to Amy to lay down vocals. She absolutely nailed it!! After that I used a single coil Reverend with a whammy bar for the solos. Peder’s bass was the last piece of the puzzle. He made it so much heavier! It didn’t think that was possible haha. I wanna thank all the players involved in this one. Enjoy!”
Check it out: