Bible Basher are a ‘supergroup’ compromised of members from various respected underground UK heavyweights, Temple of Coke, Kurokuma, Archelon and Spaztik Monkey.This is a band light on information, but sonically as heavy as an earth mover rumbling over your big toe. Playing what is rightfully described as ‘slamming doom/death metal’, this release from Sludgelord Records was initially an ultra-limited run of 50 cassettes which flew off the shelves in three days prompting the label to press another 50 copies.
Religion has always been an evocative subject, hence it’s influence the world over and to these ‘riffs from hell’ the band have set ‘words from the bible’.
Opening with a sample of an evangelical preacher lamenting mankinds unworthy nature and ignorance to the words of God, a testament to the power of the speech as you can feel the tension raising as he speaks. At the climax of the sample you could expect some crust punk or some high octane metal to launch in. Instead So Samson Sang goes slow, yanking the catharsis from you as they drag out doom that’s the soundtrack to an end time of creeping atrophy.
It is simplistic at times with long ringing percussion, drenched in fuzz laden guitar that leaves plenty of space for the raw, evil, visceral vocals. Describing a track in this genre as ‘lurching’ is a lazy cliché, but it really does feel like the music sways, gathering itself and then thrusts forward, before allowing the drawn out notes to almost, but not completely, die out before on moving again. In juxtaposition, the switch to death metal vocals adds further grime to this already sordid affair.
Despite the sledgehammer blows, there are subtle echoing flavours of atmosphere and the use of the double bass drumming is deft augmentation rather than a blunt force trauma. The track rounds out with a call and response between the vocal styles, a result of the fact that each track features a different vocalist, something I would like to elaborate on but currently the finer details of Bible Basher remain shrouded in mystery.
It is simplistic at times with long ringing percussion, drenched in fuzz laden guitar that leaves plenty of space for the raw, evil, visceral vocals…
This is immediately noticeable on second track Plagued with its buzz saw guitar and frenetic double bass which is a contrast to the opener. Definitely leaning more on the death metal side, this is a track that brims with swaying, hypnotic musical passages and full on death/grind and multi-layered vocals. Short and anything but sweet, it churns past in a maelstrom of melodic leading brutality.
Burning And Blackened is as musically inclined as its title. Starting gently with eastern flavoured instrumental that gives way to a seismic, guttural plod with vocals that manage to split the different between death metal, black metal and sludge style intonations. The slow dance around the whispered spoken echoes cannot hide just how monstrously heavy this is at times.
Finishing with the drone like Soddom& Gomorrah, leaning heavily on the blackened vocal style (which personally I prefer) this shares a kinship with bands like Coffinworm and Dragged Into Sunlight or even the more hardcore breakdowns of Will Haven.
Ending abruptly, Loud & Wailing is a reminder that the UK scene produces some absolute filth in terms of extreme music. This is a deliciously rotten and decaying sounding release, made all the more immersive by the backstory or lack thereof. The music gets the focus, and if (unlike the preacher at the beginning implies) you know your bible, you can hear the words twisted into their darkest interpretations, backed by a sound heralding the coming of hell.
Bible Basher have produced four tracks that make this crossover between styles, and conceptual theme, seem easy which is a tribute to all involved. They can give me a full length dose whenever they’re ready and the loud wailing you’re currently hearing, yes that’s me lamenting that I foolishly got rid of my tape player.
Scribed by: Mark Hunt-Bryden