Sludge metal that makes its mark in any language

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

This Friday marks ten years to the day since Galway sludge metal outfit Ten Ton Slug played their first gig. At that time, the project revolved around Connemara brothers Sean and Mícheál O’Sullivan, though their performance in the Cellar on the night led to them finding their longtime frontman Rónán Ó hArrachtáin.

A decade and several lineup changes on, the Slugs have released a long-anticipated debut album.

Colossal Oppressor arrived this week, its eight tracks noisy and full of grit. Partly funded by the Galway City Arts Office, it is the end of a long journey for Sean and Rónán, who are marking the occasion with launch gigs in Dolan’s of Limerick and The Grand Social in Dublin this weekend.

“The video from the first gig, when we watched it back afterwards, there was somebody in the crowd going ‘yeah!’ at the end of one of the songs and it was [Rónán],” Sean recalls from that night in the Cellar.

“We listened back, and we said that guy has a good roar, we should ask him if he wants to sing.”

Plenty of highlights have scattered throughout the years the Slugs have shared together. In 2016, they won Metal 2 the Masses, a showcase that gave them the opportunity to perform at UK heavy metal festival Bloodstock. Some major support slots also stand out as formative experiences.

“Playing over in Slovenia at a metal-based festival in 34-degree heat on the main stage,” Rónán suggests. “What was it, like one or two o’clock in the day? That was awesome.”

“Definitely that,” Sean agrees. “Some of the support slots we got. One of my favourite bands of all time is Crowbar and in 2017, we got a support slot with them which I still can’t believe.”

Pictured: Ten Ton Slug… Sean O’Sullivan, Rónán Ó hArrachtáin and newest member Pavol Rossa.




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