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Look, let’s be honest here for a second. I’m In A Coffin are a joke band. They’re not a depressive black metal band, they’re a comedic depressive black metal band. From the silly promo photo, to the ridiculous pseudonyms the pair employ, to the lyrics of the songs themselves (when there are actually lyrics being sung, but more on that later), there’s really just no way to approach the group or their work but as a not particularly subtle or elaborate put on, a mockery of the entire SDBM scene.
This leaves them open to two kinds of negative reactions right off the bat. There are those die-hard depressive black metal fans who don’t get the gag and just assume that IIAC are some sloppy SDBM act with a terrible singer and boring drum machine beats (both true) who can’t be bothered to dress the part (ex: kitten in promo picture). Then there are the die-hard depressive black metal fans who DO get the joke and don’t appreciate their favorite sacrosanct genre, self-important and self-indulgent as it may often be, being held up for ridicule by what are probably a pair of snotty West Coast hipsters.
The rest of us, though, just get to have a good chuckle. Now granted, we’re laughing as Sad-ist and Adorable mercilessly mock what are, ostensibly, the sonic expressions of emotionally and often physically scarred human beings baring their wounded souls and broken hearts for public judgment and consumption. And yes, there have been a few SDBM musicians who have taken their own lives over the years, so it’s a really dark joke we’re all giggling over, but then so’s life.
What’s so amusing and, frankly, a little disturbing about IIAC, is how every spot on the joke is. The promo pic may be silly, and the names ridiculous, but are they really much different in that respect from the rest of the genre? The same goes, naturally, for the music.
The first cut (har har), “Finally Happy,” is, instrumentally speaking anyway, quite serviceable depressive black metal. It’s actually a fairly decent track. Once the guitars kick in the drum machine isn’t particularly noticeably mechanical, and if you’re not a dogmatic opponent of rhythm programing you probably won’t even be aware of it plodding away back there. There are some decent dynamic shifts, the guitars drone repetitively away as genre conventions dictate they must, and thin-sounding synths weave spare, melancholic progressions throughout.
Then the singing kicks in… If he weren’t wailing quite as clearly, or as high in the mix, the vocals wouldn’t be quite so off putting (as it is, they’re reminiscent of the dreadful vocal mix found on early Happy Days demos) and could probably pass fine for the sort of “tormented soul” moans that, along with the moderate tempos and whole-chord strums, give depressive back metal much of it’s character.
As it is, we can make out every word, and he’s clearly enunciating on purpose. He wants us to fully absorb his goofy lyrics about taking razor blades to his wrist and throat, dying alone at night, being torment for all eternity in Hell, and finding happiness because at least now he’s dead. They’re far too absurd to take seriously… except for the sad fact that they probably could have been lifted from the lyric sheets of any number of SDBM bands with little to no alteration and been delivered without irony. And none of us would have known the difference. All IIAC seem to really be doing here is allowing the genre to mock itself.
The B-side is a lumbering mass of near funeral doom, relatively inconsequential and unremarkable but for the fact that here the vocalist abandons any pretense of singing and just spends the four and a half minutes emitting wordless sobs and moans in a fashion that, again, is unsettlingly close to the vocal stylings of far too many of the serious depressive black metal front men he’s lampooning, the “weeping and wailing” style carried to its logical conclusion: actually weeping and wailing, almost completely divorced from musical qualities.
If IIAC are clowns, and that’s not really much of an “if,” then they’re Heath Ledger’s Joker to Bruce Wayne’s Caped Crusader, asking “Why so serious” of an entire genre of dour mopes who’d look as ridiculous if they stepped out of their album covers as Batman might stalking down some real street in the real world. And why not? Why not laugh at yourself? You’re going to die sooner or later either way. And that's the real irony.
So this is what were dealing with on this demo. A depressive black metal band called I'm In A Coffin. Not the most intelligent name ever, but I'm not here to judge the band by their name. This has to be the biggest joke to grace the music world. It was hard to listen to while writing this. So here we go on a journey through their : "deep,dark,depressive music world".
Okay, so the first track is called "Finally Happy". It starts up with some simple minded drumming and then the guitar (and maybe bass? It's hard to tell). And the annoying vocalist comes in. The only way to describe there singing is crying. That's it. And it's hard to tell what he's crying about. But enough about the vocals. Lets get started on the music. Simple drumming. Most of the time just using the cymbals. No talent there. The guitar is so down tuned its hard to tell what he's playing. Most likely just opened E with some tremolo.
Now to the second song. And most likely the funniest song I've ever heard ever. "So Numb, So Dead". The biggest joke I've heard in depressive black metal. This song is so bad. I can't put it into words. The song starts off with a few cymbal hits. Then the guitar comes in. And then...No vocals. Just...the singer literally, literally I say, crying. The whole track is of him,seriously,crying. Or maybe he's faking the crying. But the track is of the annoying bitch crying. It was hard to hear the music behind the annoying cries. But I managed. Again, simple hitting of the cymbals. And down tuned guitar work.
To sum up the demo, horrible. The worst piece of trash to ever grace my ears. This is the kind of shit that makes depressive black metal look bad. The music was bland. The vocals, especially bad. The lyrics of the first song look like they were written in five minutes by an underage "depressed" teen poet. I couldn't stand to listen to this a third time around. Pass.