(By Tyler Smith, Guest Contributor, RiffRelevant.com)
Editor’s note: Two special brand new riffian things for you today! Sludgelord Records has presented us with an exclusive track stream for you from Coffin Torture‘s upcoming full-length release ‘Dismal Planet‘; and we have a new wordsmith here at Riff Relevant to bring us a review of that very album. Welcome Tyler Smith… – Leanne
We have an exclusive Coffin Torture track streaming for you today, courtesy of Sludgelord Records! Have a listen to the ‘Dismal Planet’ title track streaming via the embed here, and continue on to read the review…
Coffin Torture is a sludge doom duo based out of Westminster, SC, recently signed as the debut roster act on the new Sludgelord Records label. They formed around 2008, and since then have been very busy honing their massive and crushing sound. This two-man swamp spate consists of Thorfinn on vocals, guitar, and bass (album only), and Blind Samson on drums and keyboards (album only).
Take it from a guy who has seen them live more than once, you will not walk away from them thinking you just heard a band with only two members. My first awareness of Coffin Torture was after seeing them play at a record store in Greenville, South Carolina. I immediately starting wondering if the building itself was going to take it. Their sound has increased far beyond that now and I leave their set every time feeling sore from the sonic assault of sound waves pummeling me. If you worry about your hearing, definitely wear earplugs.
Dismal Planet is set for release on February 16th, on digital stream and download via Sludgelord Records on Bandcamp. (Digipak CD format is also available, with shipping from the U.S. directly from Coffin Torture.)
As you look at the cover art, with the artwork done by Thorfinn himself, you already know that a lot of time and effort was spent on making this album. The amount of detail and shading in the illustration must have taken forever to draw by hand. Seeing that cover instantly made me want a full size print of it. The use of very bright colors on the darkness in the background gives the album a psychedelic, yet ominous feeling.
The very first track “Bull of Minos” introduces you to the third member of the band. Their tone. A sound carved out over many years of playing. Developed like a blacksmith pounds repeatedly on a piece of steel in different ways to make a battle-axe, all in order to split his opponents apart. The drums carry the song forward, and together with the mighty riffs it actually does sound as if a Minotaur is stalking its prey.
Throughout the album, it is obvious to hear the amount of power Thorfinn is using in his vocals. They sound even and confident, going from a booming bellow to what, at times, seems reminiscent of grind or death metal influences. Tracks like number three, “Bolted Down, Boiled to Grease”, shows influences of funeral doom. Then it quickly speeds up to demonstrate just how seamlessly they can switch from a slow crawl to a much faster pace. Using the music to paint a landscape of a Dismal Planet, indeed.
The fourth track is my personal favorite off the album. “Gustave” has the fastest guitar and drum work yet. Samson does a perfect job of laying down a great foundation for Thorfinn to heave his crushing riffs on top of. So far, each song has its own characteristics to make every track stand out different from the rest, while still cohesively carrying the weight of the album as a whole. If you were to summon Cthulhu from the Void itself, this is the track to use to demand his attention.
“D.H.F” is a more a deep sludgy track. Thorfinn use a low-end rumble, much like EHG uses feedback, except this sounds like thunder. It’s definitely something you are gonna feel in your chest even from way at the back of the room.
The title track [our exclusive Bandcamp stream is above], ”Dismal Planet”, is definitely a nod to Cream. That’s right, Cream. You can hear it in the drumming and in the pace, which is not surprising as they have done a cover of Cream’s “Tales of Brave Ulysses” in the past. The last track “Trench Hog” finishes the album out strong. The track is very alive, at times almost like its a living and breathing.
This album was recorded at The Jam Room Studio in Columbia, South Carolina. Jay Matheson and Phillip Cope did an amazing job of helping Coffin Torture achieve the immense sound. Wes Brooks of Undead Speed Equipment set up the layout in a very appealing way.
From the artwork to the very last note of the very last song, this album is a great example of how to come out swinging at the beginning of the year. This is something Coffin Torture took the time to write, perfect, and set up. It should be high on your must have list right now.
Order it here: https://thesludgelord.bandcamp.com/album/dismal-planet