Legend has it, if you put your ear to the pavement on certain nights, you can actually feel the sludge metal played by Akron's Rue vibrating through the streets. These loud rock heavies have been storming concert clubs since 2003, blasting their groove-infused ogre metal to discerning degenerates across the country. They initially unchained their fury on a self-titled CD that paid tribute to the godfather of all stoner-metal groups. "We wanted that Black Sabbath kind of vibe, so we recorded and mixed in seven hours and 45 minutes," says guitarist Mike Burns. "Black Sabbath's self-titled debut was cut in eight hours. Our first album was very loud, very sick, and to the point."
These days, Rue falls somewhere between Mastodon's sludge and the Melvins' grunge. Singer Jeff Fahl breathes fire into songs like "The Locust" and "Born With Frostbite." And each cut unloads like fist-in-the-air chin music, striking listeners with blasts of sonic excess. "You Say One Thing" — from the band's split CD with Portland, Oregon's Aldebaran — chugs along like a train in the distance before Burns lays down a sharp funk riff and drummer Greg Cook machine-guns his beats. Then Fahl growls a "motherfucker" or two to drive it all home. "Some shows can be very violent — people going crazy, throwing things into a giant mosh pit," says Burns. "Sometimes gigs are laid back. You never know what you're going to get, except that we always give 150 percent. And we are always very loud."