by Chris Hupe



       Slagg are one of those bands you have probably heard of but maybe havenÕt actually heard. After paying their dues on various stages in and around the Fort since 2002, Slagg have just recently come into prominence as one of the premiere metal bands in the area. Considered to be one of the best of their kind locally, Slagg now seem poised to make a name for themselves outside of their hometown as well. And now with the release of their second full-length album, Pedigree, they have the product to back them up.

       The first thing that stands out about Pedigree is its top-notch production work. Tim Bushong, who has produced a number of local and national acts over the past 25 years, engineered the album, and with his expertise the sound on Pedigree is about as good as any local album in recent memory. In other words, it doesnÕt sound a bit Òlocal.Ó

       But even with the best producer an album wouldnÕt stand out without a good band and good songs. Thankfully, Slagg have good songs. Beginning with ÒQuiverÓ it is immediately evident that Slagg take a Òno prisonersÓ approach to writing this time out. Other standouts include ÒInevitable,Ó the title track and ÒÓNo More.Ó The final two tracks, ÒSavior (Save Me)Ó and ÒAssuming You Lied,Ó are reminiscent of local legends Downbreed – another Bushong-produced group and – in this writer's opinion – the best Fort Wayne metal band ever.

       There are very few weak spots on this album. Slagg arrive focused and in excellent form, with Josh Loucks managing to sound like a man possessed (thatÕs a good thing in metal, in case you were wondering). Though at times Pedigree can get a bit melodic, Slagg are mostly an Òin your faceÓ kind of band, kicking out song after song of head-banging, fist-pumping metal. In a decent but not great year for metal Pedigree ranks right up there with some of the best metal albums of the year, locally or nationally.

       With Pedigree, Slagg have set loose one of the best local metal albums in at least five years. If you havenÕt heard their music or gone to see them play live, you might want to get out to see them while you still can. If the right people hear this album, it's likely they wonÕt be a ÒlocalÓ band for much longer. (Chris Hupe)

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