Sludge-doom act Submine was established in 2015 from New Jersey. It's a one-man project by Chris Gennaro, and recently, its debut EP was released within the same year it formed called "This Won't End Well."

Sludge metal can be a very fascinating genre; there's this certain balance of heaviness and atmosphere that only music falling under that category can bring. The music can focus on the heavy, hard-hitting aspect of the genre (Black Tusk, The Ocean), while others take a more atmospheric route that is nonetheless just as dark (Bell Witch, Indian) Enter SubMine, a fairly recent project with their starting effort "This Won't End Well;" this EP does have that very balance, although it does have some holes that need some filling in.

The musicianship, though rather bare-bones for its genre, is quite solid. For starters, the guitars dish out some intriguing, heavy, and somewhat psychedelic riffs that add some atmosphere to the record. They're a bit standard in terms of the dark tones one would find in the sludge and doom genres, but they do well. The drums, however, though not bad, are probably the weakest aspect of the instrumentation, as they're very basic and aren't particularly that interesting in terms of sound and technique. Thankfully, the vocals make up for that; They're the definitive highlight here, sounding very sludgy, potent, and all-around low pitched while having the lyrics be easy to understand. Overall, the musicianship, while not perfect, does hold up decently.

Along with that, the mixing in this record is also rather solid. Though the guitars and drums could use a touch of polishing, it does have a very good balance between raw and refined. The instruments are made very clear, but they're rough-sounding enough to add quite a lot of dark ambiance to the music. Despite the instruments needing a little more re-tooling, the production gives off some very intriguing atmosphere.

Speaking of which, the best aspect of this album would have to be its strong sense of atmosphere. The music has this very murky sort of ambiance to it, thanks to both the sludgy-sounding musicianship and production. The atmospheric guitar work and the mixing generate this bizarrely engaging type of environment. It sounds somewhat industrial and garage-like, which tends to be a bit uncommon within this type of music. Songs such as "Non-Response is Compliance" and "Built on Bones" are the highlights of the album, the former best demonstrating the music's atmospheric prowess, while the latter has some intriguing groove to it.

On the other hand, however, the album also has one particularly crippling problem: Its lack of bite. Every aspect of the record, from the musicianship to the writing and so on, while not overall bad, lack the explosiveness that would really make it really grip the audience and stick to them. In other words, the songs sound more like background music more than really compelling and engaging tracks. 

The biggest example of this shortcoming would be the song "Sacrificial Earth," as it has a painful lack of progression to it and sounds almost the same for the five minutes it occupies. It has the same pattern and tune from beginning to end, making for a rather stale and uneventful experience. For this album to work better, one of two directions may want to be taken: The music should either go all the way with the ambiance and atmosphere, going towards drone territory, or it should have the instruments and production be punchier more dynamic. In short, while not necessarily bad, the album sounds too blurry to be that memorable.

BOTTOM LINE: "This Won't End Well," though suffering from some major pitfalls, is a rather decent place to start for a relatively new project. There are some elements of impressive musicianship (Particularly the vocals), the mixing, for all its shortcomings, gives off an interesting and rather engaging atmosphere, and the songs themselves have their moments as well. Flaws such as the music's lack of flavor and punch and sometimes cheap-sounding production keep it from being that recommendable, but there certainly is something brilliant around the corner; if the next release could somehow iron out these issues and build off of its strengths, said release may be one of the doom metal greats. Until then, a fair effort, though there's much room for improvement.
"This Won't End Well" was released on August 3, 2015 under no label.