Coffinworm: IV.I.VIII

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Coffinworm: IV.I.VIII
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Coffinworm: IV.I.VIII
Blackened Sludge Metal, Doom Metal
Profound Lore Records
March 18th, 2014
Release length: 39:37
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Indiana, Indianapolis plays home to Coffinworm, a five-piece Doom and Sludge Metal outfit with some Black Metal for good measure. The band came to be in 2007, and with their 2009 demo Great Bringer of Light immediately started making waves in the underground community. This was enough to find the band issuing their 2010 debut full-length When All Became None through Profound Lore Records, which was met with plenty of praise. It’s been four years since then, which saw the release of a compilation and a split in 2012, but now the band gears up to drop their follow-up album, IV.I.VIII. Will this be another release poised to rip your face off, or have the fangs dulled since last time?

IV.I.VIII has some varying audio qualities. While some of the more aggressive tracks sound raw all around, the Doom Metal heavy cuts are a bit more crisp. The only constants are the clear drumming throughout the release with a nice echo on some parts of the kit, as well as the high amounts of grain in the vocals to add a little more intensity to the performances. This works best with the Black Metal heavy cuts like “Sympathectomy.” The aggressive blasting laced with spurts of two-step infection create some scathing material before the slower, almost ritualistic chorus. Towards the end, it’s more like a trudging away from said event against a grim and thunderous backdrop matched only by the ominous guitar work of “A Death Sentence Called Life.” The drumming chokes the performance into submission while the rest of the faster verses pound away, as if a hammer repeatedly hitting your temple with enough force to do damage.

“Instant Death Syndrome” is a bit deeper all around with rich, infectious slower Sludge material, but finds some moments of off-beat drums against a steady dismal set of blackened riffs thanks to high pitch feedback before the shift. By the half way point, things grind to a crawl, eventually getting thicker towards the last forty seconds. It’s a catchy little release that leaves you a bit more obedient than the aggressive start. This is carried into the start of “Black Tears,” which just feels like an uncompromisingly hopeless slab of Doom Metal that refuses to lift the weight it imposes upon you. The distorted vocals make the heaviness feel a bit more sinister, as if sand in the cold night’s wind that cuts deep into you like countless grains of tiny razors. The speed picks up half way through for a bit, introducing some dull Black Metal music with an added ritualistic touch from the drum kit.

“Of Eating Disorders and Restraining Orders” ends up the most interesting track of them all. The nearly eight minute long performance has some catchy slower paced Sludge Metal at play that is no different than some of the other offerings here. Some of the additional background sounds creep in about two minutes in against a nice tribal drum beat that continues to slow down and create the sensation of a bad acid trip, especially when the song begins to drone on about four minutes in.

IV.I.VIII is an intense slab of Sludge and Doom Metal. If you’re in the most for an album as coarse as sandpaper, this album will definitely hit the spot in all the right ways. The only issue is that the songs themselves aren’t all that memorable outside “Of Eating Disorders and Restraining Orders” which takes the Doom Metal approach to a whole other level. Even some of the effects and distortions used make for good ideas that could have really bulked up the already solid performances a little more, but sadly they are only really used towards the end, sometimes adding a level of paranoia to the mix. If you’re already a Coffinworm fan, you’ll enjoy what appears on IV.I.VIII, and even if you’re new it’s still worth giving it a once over.

01. Sympathectomy – 7:11
02. Instant Death Syndrome – 5:00
03. Black Tears – 7:27
04. Lust Vs. Vengeance – 5:48
05. Of Eating Disorders and Restraining Orders – 7:43
06. A Death Sentence Called Life – 6:27
Initial Pressing Score: 8/10

Coffinworm
Coffinworm

Digital review copy of this release provided by Profound Lore Records via Catharsis PR.