South Florida is usually known for being the breeding ground for such bands as A New Found Glory and Dashboard Confessional. What many don't recognize is that the area also has a seedy underbelly of sludge, metal and generally heavy music. I guess living a couple miles from swamps and Jeb Bush can do that for you. For the past couple of years, Consular has been making a name for themselves as Miami's answer for a heavy sludge band. Before Don't Cross the Swine Consular released a demo CDR and a two song 7" that only hinted at their ability to write long winded destructive songs. With this release they are given the proper length to demonstrate to the listener what they can do, to essentially crush the listener's ear, but you know in a good way.
What gives Consular some unique touches within the sludge realm, are the vocals and the ability to groove. Unlike most bands that go for a typical doom approach of generally low-pitched vocal, the singer of Consular gives the listener something else. Instead the vocals on Don't Cross the Swine are high vocal assault. Many think that this vocal approach is a downside for Consular but I think they provide an interesting balance between the band's low-end sound and the singer's high-pitch screech. The best track on the record is a toss up between either "Open Your Mouth" or "Torn Face;" both exhibit Consular's ability to smash their way past the four-minute mark while providing one hell of headbanging trip along the way.
Consular's music should fall perfectly into the vernacular of fans of bands like Cavity, Floor, Electric Wizard and even Pantera. Fans of the aforementioned Chris Carrabba band should give this a couple listens too, because who knows what you might discover about your musical tastes.
7.5 / 10
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