It seems there’s no shortage of post-sludge bands coming outta Chicago in recent years—from Yakuza to Bloodiest, Minsk to The Atlas Moth. Well, now you can add Scientist to the mix. This four-piece outfit is actually fronted by the guitarist from Yakuza, and while their 2013 debut strictly contained tracks named after elements from the periodic table, they’ve branched out thematically this time around.
Opening track “The Singularity” actually resembles the hardcore stomp of the Cro-Mags a little more than anything by ISIS or Neurosis—though it does contain traces of doom, with the last two minutes taking on a more math-rock structure. Ten-minute epic “Siege/Capture/Control” definitely has more of a Neurosian vibe, though some of the slow-mo riffs and gruff vocal barks also bring Crowbar to mind.
There aren’t a whole lot of really long songs here, but there’s a lot of songs, period—11 tracks in all, spanning over 62 minutes. We get a few more mellow passages, and even some clean vocals, on “The Lighthouse,” while “Gravity Well” is equal parts jazz odyssey and grindcore assault. “Physician Heal Thyself” combines traditional-metal riffs with black-metal vocals, and speedy instrumental “Orbital” contains more than its share of moshable moments. You could still file this under post-sludge, I suppose, but Scientist is far more evolved than most of those faceless Neurosis clones.