Coffinworm - When All Became None
Reviewed by Andy "Dinger" Beresky (www.stonerrock.com)
Indianopolis's Coffinworm caught my attention the old fashioned way; they released a great three song demo as their debut. With song titles like "High On The Reek Of Your Burning Remains", and a brutal, ugly sound to match, there was no way that the demo EP Great Bringer Of Night wasn't going to win me over instantly. After hearing that Sanford Parker was going to produce their full length, I obviously had high expectations for this release. "Start Saving For Your Funeral", the sample track they previewed on their Myspace awhile back, with its dare-I-say "catchy" verses and infectious off-kilter melodies, left no doubt in my mind that this album was going to go for the jugular.
These guys reside solidly within the Unearthly Trance school of sludge. They mix thick doomy riffs with more higher register chunks of six string noise, and a harsh, aggressive vocal style. The black metal and punk influences are clearly also there, but not as much D-beat, and they lean much more heavily on the death metal side of things, which is always welcome in my book. The tempos range from a snail's crawl to a mid-paced groove, with a few faster sections as well for good measure. There are a lot of different elements and influences going on, but what it all really boils down to is this: if it's ugly but awesome, it's in there.
Like I mentioned above, the songs have good hooks that are instantly accessible and memorable. They aren't quite as melodic as latter day Unearthly Trance, but with riffs like the one from "Spitting In Infinity's Asshole", with it's swirling, repetitive psych doom swagger, they don't need to be. The vocals also aren't as melodic, but they're just as intense in their range, from high pitched howling yells to guttural growls, all within the space of the same breath. Powerful stuff to say the least, and Sanford's production as always brings just enough clarity to give the tones and atmospheres maximum weight.
This is already shaping up to be a great year for heavy music, and this is one of the best heavy releases I've heard thus far. Definitely add it to your "must have" list, this is a serious top ten contender, even with a slew of big names still lined up to release later on in the year. For fans of Unearthly Trance, Coffins, Middian, and Cavity, this is highly recommended.