Digital Resistance

Mike Scalzi has been carrying the heavy metal torch for 25 years now—not just metal, but the epic, old-school metal inspired by the genre’s forefathers in Iron Maiden and Riot. His band Slough Feg (who dropped “The Lord Weird” from the beginning of their name as of 2005’s Atavism) forged ahead at a time when that particular style had been left for dead and kicked back underground. The San Francisco band’s latest LP, Digital Resistance, is loaded with galloping riffs, sing-along choruses and dueling lead harmonies, along with the band’s trademark Celtic folk influences. Simply put: It’s business as usual for Slough Feg. Opener “Analogue Avengers/Bertrand Russell’s Sex Den” kicks things off with proper pageantry, followed by the dual lead riff and double kick of “Digital Resistance,” which officially unsheaths the swords. By now, the songs have announced Scalzi’s rage against machines—not that he’s a Luddite (although there is a song called “The Luddite”). They’re more of a rumination on the dumbing of brains and numbing of emotions that comes with technology. Even the production on Digital Resistance gives off a very analog air. It makes even songs like the mighty “Magic Hooligan” and arena-sized “Laser Enforcer” sound like they belong among the trees.