SLIFT is made up of brothers Jean and Remí Fossat, and Canek Flores, who first met the brothers Fossat at school. After the band formed in 2016, they quickly made their 2017 debut EP, Space Is the Key, which merged stoner rock’s heaviness with the sugar-rush qualities of garage rock. From there, things only got weirder: The trio experimented with faster tempos and bongos(!) on the following year’s full-length La Planeté Inexploreé, and in 2019, their KEXP session recorded at the Trans Musicales festival in Rennes became a viral sensation, racking up more than 1.4 million YouTube views.
UMMON from 2020 represented SLIFT’s pivot towards the celestially crushing confines of psych-metal, marked by Remí’s rolling basslines and Flores’s relentless skin-pounding. But nothing in their catalog could prepare you for ILION, a huge and melodically dense record that at once recalls Godspeed! You Black Emperor’s perpetually uplifting surge, the passionate burn of post-hardcore legends …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, Led Zep’s psychotic blues-rock mysticism, and the psychedelic swirl of Swedish greats Goat.
But reducing ILION to a list of reference points would be missing the point—specifically, that you have to sit down and experience this thing and let it take over your ear space. Over eight tracks and 75+ minutes, SLIFT unleash the fury with walls of guitar and multi-part song structures that make you feel as if you’re being taken on a true journey—from the pure oblivion of ILION’s title track and the abandon of centerpiece “Weavers’ Weft” to the intense climax of the epic “The Story That Has Never Been Told.”
But what is this journey? Joseph Campbell would be proud of the thematic path laid out before the listeners on ILION, which is named after the Ancient Greek word for the city of Troy and, conceptually speaking, picks up where UMMON left off. The band explains: “Where the two records differ is that ILION is about human emotions and feelings, whereas UMMON was telling an epic story with a distant view. ILION represents the fall of humanity and the rebirth of all things in time and space.” Heavy shit, to be sure—but fear not, because you don’t need a 12-sided dice and a copy of The Odyssey to get what SLIFT dishes out on ILION. All you need are two ears, an open mind, and the willingness to be truly blown away.
3. The Words That Have Never Been Heard
5. Weavers' Weft
7. The Story That Has Never Been Told
8. Enter The Loop