Coffinworm has been terrorizing the world since the release of their debut demo, Greater Bringer of Night. From that point on the black/doom/sludge sickening horror that they unleashed continues to haunt us. Their excellent debut album, When All Becomes None, would certainly seal the deal, and their split with Fistula would only increase the anticipation for a follow-up album.
So here it is, IV.I.VIII, making us all silently scream in awe with the brutality that the band has been able to reach. What is so remarkable about Coffinworm is their ease to bring together black metal and sludge. “Instant Death Syndrome” is the ultimate testament of the unique duality of the band. In one end you get the eerie black metal leads, accompanied by the fast drums, and alternatively on the other end you get the pure weight of doom/sludge at its very best. It is quite impressive to behold, to be fair.
What is even more astonishing is how many different methods of sonic manifestation the band is able to take on. “Lust Vs Vengeance” brings out the heavier side of Coffinworm with the slow tempo overwhelming your very existence as the huge riffs slowly take over. However what lies within the core of Coffinworm is the urge to crush your soul with their slithering melodies. For instance, the appearance of the clean guitar leads does not act as a shelter from the ongoing storm but, rather, as a sinister force trying to struggle the life out of you.
The input of Sanford Parker (of Minsk and Corrections House) is quite noticeable on the album with the producer/engineer managing to bring out the best sound to accommodate for both the weight and the ambiance of the band. And in terms of ambiance, the band can sometimes go even further. For instance, the minimalistic part, halfway through “Of Eating Disorders and Restraining Orders,” with the effects hovering all over the place, is creating a dystopian environment that just gives IV.I.VIII that extra push.
Still, Coffinwom is able to amaze you even further with their ability to take on multiple forms in different areas. For instance the powerful groove of “Black Tears” is instantaneously making you want to start destroying everything in your line of sight, while at the same time the band retains the same amount of darkness that they have had since their inception. And when you also experience how the deep growls and shrieking screams can co-exist in disharmony within the band’s music, you find yourself on the very edge of sanity. But in essence, all that this album needs in order to convince you of its greatness is a single listen of the closing track, “A Death Sentence Called Life.” The pure malevolence of this opus is beyond description.
IV.I.VIII is an album that rips apart the skies and crushes the very earth. If you consider yourself an extreme metal fan then there is no excuse for not listening to this malicious masterpiece.
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