Review: Penny Coffin ‘ΤΕΦΡΑ / ΣΚΕΛΕΤΙΚΟ ΣΚΟΤΑΔΙ’

Scottish/Greek death metal four-piece Penny Coffin have been given the honour of Dry Cough Records‘ first release of 2022; a cassette version of the band’s debut ‘ΤΕΦΡA‘ (Tefra) as well as three new tracks under the name ‘ΣΚΕΛΕΤΙΚΟ ΣΚΟΤΑΔΙ‘ (Skeletal Darkness). This is some seriously dark and evil stuff, and you can get a hold of it now.


Opener Smog feels like just that; a cloying, throating clogging atmosphere riddled with diseased guitars and leprous vocals, a true belch of underworld filth. ‘Tefra’ translates to the ‘ash of human remains’, which is what Penny Coffin seems to have been eating, such is their decaying, deathly sound. Bootlicker has a horrendous gurgle to it, wrapped in a relentless guitar riff that saws through your bones and infects you at your core, and when a cold clean guitar seeps through for a moment’s respite, it is particularly eerie. Confinement has that same uneasy swaying riffing style that you get from prime Immolation, but this is a version that dredges the abyssal depths for its inspirations.

a vast dark monster of haunting death/doom/sludge…

What of the newer material then? Jaws is, if anything, a little cleaner and less dense in atmosphere but not in style. The riffs are still rabid, the vocals still guttural, gurgling rage and the drums still unstoppable. Skeletal Darkness rises like some unspoken beast with atonal melody spiralling outwards and upwards, as the evolution of Penny Coffin‘s sound into a vast dark monster of haunting death/doom/sludge becomes apparent. This song is stunning in its execution and scope, and while the more straightforward bludgeoning of Finality is intoxicating, I hope that the band push a little further in the direction of Skeletal Darkness.

If you’re looking for something that shudders your very core, that weighs oppressively on you with eldritch terror and abominable heaviness and is as much cast from doom as it is death metal, then look no further than ΤΕΦΡΑ/ΣΚΕΛΕΤΙΚΟ ΣΚΟΤΑΔΙ. Suffocatingly dense and dark in places, it ploughs furrows in the darkest recesses of your psyche to draw out your fears and your doom, then brings it to life. Tremendous.

Label: Dry Cough Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Twitter | Instagram

Scribed by: Sandy Williamson