By Gruesome Greg
While this probably takes a back seat to their countrymen in Church of Misery for me, just the fact that this Japanese death-doom squad has a new album out is saying something in itself—it’s been a full five years since their last full-length, albeit not for a lack of splits in the interim.
But while this is more Winter, less Sabbath, they could certainly give CoM a run for their money when it comes to heaviest Japanese platter this summer; the beef curry to their chicken katsu, if you will. With washing-machine vocals amidst a bed of downtuned death metal, sometimes fast, but always pummeling, Coffins sets the tone in the vein of Autopsy, Obituary and their ilk on opener “Here Comes Pedition.”
“Hellbringer” is certainly no less hellacious, a jackhammer death march that tramples the weak like an Australian death brigade. On the other hand, “The Colossal Hole” is as cold and bitter as Winter in its prime, while I swear to Satan, “No Saviour” reminds me of Deicide, albeit with a super-slow section dropped smack-dab in the middle.
But I think this band sounds best when they surpass the six-minute mark, “The Vacant Pale Vessel” a solid showing of blackened doom that defines how grim and grimy your band can be when they eschew the Valnøtt. Meanwhile, “The Unhallowed Tide” barrels along like a roaring tsunami off the coast of Bali, downshifting into a mid-paced chug, then all the way to downright doominess, complete with piercing, ringing guitars. For what it’s worth (nothing), all three of these extended cuts begin with the word “The.” What a difference a defining article makes!