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UNDER A BED-AH - 90%

the_navy_blue_vicar, April 25th, 2005

I’m a sucker for big horrible doom bands like this with those ancient mystical names that I don’t understand or remember where they’re derived from. But even if this band were called Ceramic Rhino Interface, I would still fuckin love them because they’re fuckin insanely stupidly outrageously good.

I don’t want to jump aboard the O’Malley bandwagon, but fuck, this dude is good. I’m even willing to ignore the fact that he has the most annoying accent in existence because he writes riffs that sound like 8-foot vertical concrete cocks and has a guitar tone like a bus with marble windows, traveling at 8 miles an hour, on its side. This isn’t the Stephen O’Malley Show, though (no matter how funny a name that would be). James Plotkin from Atomsmasher/Phantomsmasher contributes some of the goddamn best bass playing I’ve ever heard as well as (I’m guessing) the odd bit of electronic vocal-fuckery, Tim Wyskida is fuckin incredible on drums throughout and Alan Dubin does some absolutely bananas vocals and also displays that he knows when to shut the fuck up when it’s needed.

I don’t know who produced this (O’Malley & Plotkin probably had a hand in there) but the vibe of this whole album sounds fuckin brilliant, and it’s probably this that holds the album together the most, maybe even more than the playing. It sounds like they’re playing on the hugest, massivest cliff-face on top of a totally wiped out planet, but a planet that exists entirely within a humungous shut down and emptied after-shave factory and all the lights are off and shit. In fact, the only light IN THE WHOLE WORLD is created by the band’s RIGHTEOUS ENERGY AND MUSICIANSHIP. Seriously, it sounds fuckin pretty good.

The album starts off with over a minute of ear-splitting feedback before hitting you with a one-two knockout blow of detuned guitar madness, the insanest vocals since Rod Hull fell off his roof and died, and more screaming feedback. Cheers! The riff this song is built around is absolutely fuckin ridiculous. It’s not even good. I don’t get it. But fuck, it sounds brilliant. The band then focus on some bash-one chord in unison for around five minutes while Dubin says, like some doom-rocking sub-human school teacher;

“SILENCE
WHILE I STRIP BONES
QUIET TIME
NO MORE WINE
DARK AND QUIET
WE GO NOW
INTO QUIET NOW”

By the way, if the peeps at metal-archives think my reviews are mostly nonsense, then at least give me credit for not cutting that quote short before “BONES”, as I was STRONGLY tempted to do.

Anyway, this track grinds on for around 10 minutes before everything drops out except Plotkin’s weird, harmonic-y bass line. The band lurch back in again and stumble through a further 2 or 3 minutes of this absolutely brutal, suicidal semi-riff before another lovely burst of ear-destroying feedback announces that track 2, Skin Coat is about to get underway.

I can hear Plotikin’s influence all over this one, the bass line under the mid-section makes the part and the electronically-fucked-with vocals and outro are pure Phantomsmasher. The mid-section and the spiky, arpegiated guitar part a few minutes into this song are probably the catchiest riffs on the album, and so Khanate decide to level things up a bit but subjecting us to the just plain horrible Torching Koroviev, in which Dubin has a particularly vigorous wank next to a microphone while a “mentally challenged” child is force fed banana bunch yoghurts in the background. The “music” in this one consists of O’Malley and Plotkin sticking their instruments in front of their amps so they drone and feedback constantly.

Fortunately it’s all over (comparatively) shortly, and then we’re into the two single hugest, darkest, densest, slabs of music of all time, maybe.

Under Rotting Sky starts off with almost 5 minutes of O’Malley and Plotkin droning in unison while Wyskida patters on him drums in free-time and Dubin attempts to scream his way out of a 30 foot empty swimming pool. The drone subsides and O’Malley strums out a gorgeous chord sequence that takes about 15 chords to actually repeat. This is definitely one of the best bits on this album, it sounds like Bonehead from Oasis playing Bob Dylan’s Idiot Wind one-strum-per-chord on detuned telegraph wires.

The last track No Joy, is my absolute favourite. The riff a few minutes in is the fucking coolest riff maybe of all time, the Drums are amazing and he bass sounds like a big fuckin oak creaking open. James Plotkin has one of the woodiest, deepest but still gritty as fuck bass sounds I’ve ever heard. Maybe it’s something to do with him being a big Arabian-looking tank of a cunt, maybe its something to do with him being a fuckin genius. I dunno. Anyway, THAT RIFF. I don’t want to hype it up too much, but sweet Jesus, its fuckin great. Even when everybody drops out except O’Malley and they just add more and more echo like the walls are moving or something. The repeat it for 7 mins and it still sounds great. The band ache back in, and just repeat the riff over and over until it finally fades out, as if they just kept playing it forever and ever until the end of time. Unfortunately they had to go and bring out a pishy second album, so we know they aren’t, but anyway, a great end to a quality album.