Coffinworm - When All Became None
Profound Lore Records
6 songs (43:15)
Release year: 2010
Official Myspace, Profound Lore Records
Reviewed by Charles
You don’t need to get much beyond the song titles here to work out that Coffinworm is about obnoxiously tongue-in-cheek sleaze. Start Saving for your Funeral, Spitting in Infinity’s Asshole, and Strip Nude for your Killer, the latter named after an Andrea Bianchi sexploitation giallo, give an initial impression of the band as revellers in filth that it is hard to shake. If this is your aesthetic, you’d be hard pressed to find a better musical medium than that which befouls When All Became None; a slow, grooving cauldron of garage rock, feedback-drenched sludge and angry doom-death.

It’s on Profound Lore, a label developing a reputation for not just quality but invention, with Castevet, Krallice and Cobalt, among others, working hard to expand their own esoteric corners of the metal world. Coffinworm, with their primitivist approach, are a bit different, sounding less like artsy musical revolutionaries are more like a band of people who urgently need to vomit out obscenities lest their innards explode through all the bile.

There are a few reference points we can take here, none of which fit exactly but which should serve to give a rough sense of what this sounds like. Firstly, there is an obvious likeness to grim and grimy sludge acts like Eyehategod or Iron Monkey in the squawking vocals and crashing, rumbling descents from head-nodding riffs into dissonant, formless banging. Another comparison- and not just because of the name- is the relatively unsung Coffins, Japan’s finest excretors of shambling doom-death. As with that band, Coffinworm’s sound is laden-down with slow, knuckleheaded thunder-riffs, giving it the feel of a despondent, weatherbeaten groove. If anything, this band is a little tamer, soundwise, than Coffins; the feedback that molests every note of the latter’s Buried Death isn’t quite such an oppressive force here.

Instead, this carves out its dank niche through its multifaceted, often complex compositions. The best tracks here- there are only six but they are all quite long- are cleverly strung-together trains of thought, and they each seek to do something slightly different. Spitting in Infinity’s Asshole is perhaps the killer, the track that will lodge itself in your mind. Opening with a spaced-out lone base guitar line, the mentally-unstable movie sample monologue that enters is drowned as the rest of the band crashes in like drug-addled doom-mongers Electric Wizard. Then, we accelerate into a driving stoner-doom jam, before kicking up yet another gear into a fairly straightforward death metal blast. Strip Nude for your Killer is another highpoint, managing to twist the band’s harsh sound into a leering 6/8 swing before collapsing abruptly into a cesspit of rumbling guitar noise and screeching feedback.

This is a fine debut album, then, revealing a band with the ability to travel to some very dark places. It isn’t a unique record; distinctive is perhaps a better word, because it brings its own attitude to bear on sounds already revealed and explored. One for those who live happily in the uglier niches of the doom metal scene.

Killing Songs :
Spitting in Infinity's Asshole, High on the Reek of Your Burning Remains
Charles quoted 79 / 100
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