SLIFT’s ‘Ilion’ is a psychedelic adventure through heaviness and bold expression. Eight tracks or pure, unadulterated rock n roll, this latest record from the French three-piece is a fabulous listen.

The vocals are shouty, the bass and drums are pummelling and the guitar solos are mesmerising. Cuts like “Nimh” and the title track, have an epic feel. I have no idea what vocalist Jean Fossat is screaming about but whatever it is, it sounds cool.

I first came across the Toulouse outfit a few years back on YouTube. The energy and passion was engulfing and I had a similar reaction listening to ‘Ilion’. On my way to work in the rain and snow, looking at all the familiar disfigured faces, SLIFT wake me up and get the blood going. Manically smoking bifters outside St. Michael’s Station, I bob my head back and forth and give the legs a good old twitch. The music is heavy. The music is good.

“Weaver’s Weft” offers a dark energy I appreciate too. The rumbling bass and piercing drums conjure a sound reminiscent of a ghoulish procession. If the band Ghost actually sounded as sinister as their image suggests, it could soar like this. Blasphemous in tone, this alliterative fifth track is a real highlight.

I’ve always had a taste for music of a slightly deranged nature and although this isn’t Cardiacs or Daughters, SLIFT give me a similar feeling. A feeling of fuck everyone, today is about me and no one else. Big headed I know, but I felt like the only one alive some mornings at the platform edge; like I was the only person experiencing something outside the “norm”.

Spose a bit like Roddy Piper in ‘John Carpenter’s They Live’ (1988), the hypnotic prog rhythms are the spectacles I need to suplex aliens and see the truth. Of course, that sounds batshit insane. What I’m trying to say is songs like “Confluence” – other than sounding at times like the soundtrack to a side scrolling hack and slasher – give me a boost. Of course, the zero sugar Monsters are also a big help. I guess I feel like I’ve gained an extra life with this record.

All that nonsense aside, this album is really good. It probably is a concept album and a powerful modern prog one at that. Titles like “The Words That Have Never Been Heard” and “The Story That Has Never Been Told” make me think this was perfectly planned out with a story or theme flowing throughout. The thing is folks, I’m a simple creature. If it’s loud, if it’s incessant and if it’s slightly unhinged, hey… I’m on-board pal! The only theme I sense here is one of an arse-kicking nature. It has to be heard to be believed.

If you’re a fan of Pigs x7 or God Damn, you’ll definitely enjoy a bit of SLIFT.  I highly recommend this album if you’re planning on walking up a mountain or waking one up for that matter.

SLIFT: Ilion – Out 19th January 2024 (Sub Pop)

• ILION (Official Audio) (

Liverpool born music writer with passion for punk and Everton FC