Mike Scalzi has been in and around the San Francisco Metal scene for a long time. He’s played in a number of groups over the years, but Slough Feg (also known as The Lord Weird Slough Feg) has always been his main band. I started listening to Slough Feg shortly after I saw Mike play a show as part of Unholy Cadaver (this was prior to the band changing their name to Hammers of Misfortune). John Cobbett is a good vocalist and guitarist, but Mike Scalzi is a better front-man. He impressed me enough with his stage presence and playing ability to check out his main band and I’ve followed them ever since. For those who have never heard the music of Slough Feg, they’re best described as Heavy Metal in the traditional sense. They draw from old Hard Rock and early Metal for inspiration, though they do incorporate some occasional Celtic melodies and Progressive Rock structures into their brew. Slough Feg does have a fairly accessible style (especially on this LP) and their melodic guitar-work and clean vocals would have been fairly radio-friendly had this been the early ’80s. It’s still some rocking stuff, though. If there’s one thing Mike Scalzi knows how to do, it’s make a fun record. The songs on here are mostly upbeat and though the message behind the album is serious, it never brings down the otherwise celebratory mood of the music. If you’ve listened to Slough Feg for any length of time, you realize that there’s always a message in there somewhere, and Digital Resistance is no different. A lot of the songs have an anti-technology edge to them, though not in a Luddite sense. The guys in Slough Feg don’t want you to abandon technology, they just want you to think about what it does to you and to the people around you. The lyrics make quite an interesting read, and for a Metal album there’s a lot of depth there. While those obsessed with all thing grim and dark will probably despise this LP, it’s one that I enjoyed quite a lot. It isn’t quite as much fun as seeing the band play live, but it’s pretty close.
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