There are few bands that’ll take you to as vile a place as America’s sludge specialists Coffinworm. Formed back in 2007, it’s easy to imagine that their plan was simply to decimate the ears of doomsters by making the most threatening music possible.
Their debut demo ‘Great Bringer of Night’ is one of those records that’ll push your mind and stomach to their boundaries, with one of the filthiest grasps on extreme music since Burning Witch first melted minds.
This opus has finally been given the re-release treatment, available on both black and gold (yes gold) vinyl. The vinyl has minimalistic and bleak artwork for the re-release which is a fitting introduction to the band, with skulls, serpents and carcasses draped across the cover.
Opener ‘High On the Reek of Your Burning Remains’ sets the tone perfectly for these sludgers, with a filthy guitar line which could give fellow experimentalists Cough a hernia. The haunting shrieks of D are also a particularly nasty element to the opener, presenting the vocalist as a true beast of a front-man.
Follower ‘Strip Nude for your Killer’ follows the popular path of nicking a song title from a film. The tracks fuzzed out bass line and Electric Wizard like riffing epitomises what the band set out to achieve and makes for some truly uneasy listening.
Brief flashes of punk on songs such as the pleasantly titled ‘Spitting in Infinity’s Asshole’ make things all the more virulent, showing a band that are turned on by anything that achieves that nasty atmosphere.
Elements of black metal are also dotted around the release which seems a common trait for US extreme bands as of late. Coffinworm’s use of the sub-genre makes perfect sense, colliding with their punk elements to create a multi-layered assault.
This mixing of styles makes for one of the high points on the demo, with a surprisingly large amount of textures for a band that are generally minimalistic. It is also refreshing to hear a band that are unafraid to embrace such a range of sounds, separating them from the masses of sludge bands that all sound alike.
Influences on Coffinworm such as the aforementioned Burning Witch are clear and although you won’t get anything new here, the sheer dedication and passion in their slow-motion attack has to be admired. This release is an unrelenting journey into metal’s darkest recesses and won’t sit nicely next to your Boston records.
If you’re still pining for that long-awaited new EYEHATEGOD release, Coffinworm may tick all the boxes for your anarchic, sludgy needs.
Scribed by: Alex Varley