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Ask the casket - 85%

joncheetham88, December 28th, 2010

Another couple of months elapse, and Coffins record another split with someone, with an awesome Lovecraftian bit of cover art. Is there any band that maintains this level of productivity and always sounds so damn tasty? We'll get to that in a moment, the first track on this miniature monster is from vicious doom-grind Americans Stormcrow.

'Path to Defeat':

Stormcrow's nearly 13 minutes of material is a slow-moving tank of a track, with grind sensibilities infecting the shredding riffs early on, which actually remind me of Metal Church's eponymous song if it was covered by Dying Fetus. These unforgiving riffs repeatedly rape your ears for the first five minutes before an enormous doom break leads to quieter, clean guitar moments. This halfway break is actually really very nice, adding a ton of atmosphere and setting off the surrounding violence nicely. When the band comes back in, it's heroic power chords and then a sludgy, super-slow ending.

The vocals of Brian are purest death metal, Karl Willets grunting up from the sewers, with a nice bilious edge that adds some extra venom. The guitar tone is ideal, cavernous and heavy as a rock face, while the drumming of Deuce is of a very high standard. Whether pounding away with mid-paced rhythms or layering the relative silence of the eight minute mark by tickling the snare to death, he is precise and focused throughout.

'The Black Fog of Burning Flesh'/ 'Slaughter of Gods (2009)':

I'll be checking out some more Stormcrow if the opportunity arises. Now to the reason I checked this out, two new tracks from Coffins, Japan's premier Autopsy-worship export, filling time between albums by releasing more than an album's worth of new, exclusive, super-awesome material all over split albums for the last two years.

'The Black Fog of Burning Flesh' opens with typically morbid and lethargic doom riffs, like something from Winter. Two and a half minutes in the rumbling kick-punctuated assault begins, as I knew it would, fuzzy guitars grumbling, drums hissing and the diabolical deep wretches of Uchino lurching with a basic but very memorable riff. Easily up to par with the stuff on Buried Death, and some of the best stuff to be vomited onto wax since that album.

'Slaughter of Gods' was fairly rocking throughout, creaking along with a deep and bassy riff, so it works nicely after the last track's intermittent eruptions. I prefer this to the original based on the awesome production, the gruff, muddy mix that Coffins have really perfected over the past few years.

The split:

There are two reasons to get this. The first is that Stormcrow are a real discovery and you should thank Coffins for bringing your attention to them. The second is that although Coffins are releasing a compilation called Ancient Torture which renders our "CoFFInS 2008-2010" scribbled mix tapes obsolete, these two babies don't seem to be on it. Useless! So yeah, worth it just for Coffins, but with the added bonus of Stormcrow also being awesome.