We get so much stuff through that we do struggle to make a dent in the massive pile of great new releases, so here’s a review round-up featuring a trio recent doom, sludge and post-metal albums.
V – Pathogenisis
The debut album from Swedish blackened sludge quartet V, Pathogenisis sees the band featuring Daniel Liljekvist of In Mourning reunite after a nearly ten year hiatus. Recorded at Midlake studios in Dalarna, Sweden Pathogenisis is a solid slab of gloomy sludge. Opener “Souls Of The Nearly Departed” sets the dark, brooding tone for the 42 minutes of Pathogenisis. All of the tracks individually, and the album as a whole, strike a great balance of heavy peaks and gentle troughs. The quieter moments bring a greater emphasis and provide more of an impact to the hulking riffs of the heavier parts. That’s not to say that these quieter sections are bright and airy in comparison to the sludgier section. They’re mostly still bleak. V have created a real downer of an album.
The one possible exception to this rule is the use of mildly uplifting higher tones with more of a stoner atmosphere on the midway track “At The End Of Your Time”. I would emphasise ‘mildly’ here as this is still a relatively gloomy listen overall. Pathogenisis closes with the slow stoner dirge and wailing guitar solo of “The Order” fading out to nothing. Missing out on a big final flourish is a bit of a frustrating end to an otherwise strong, layered track and ultimately, the album.
For fans of: Pallbearer and Cult Of Luna
Pathogenisis is out now on Suicide Records
Unfold – Banshee O Beast
Banshee O Beast is Swiss post-metal/hardcore quintet Unfold’s fourth full-length album and they continue to bludgeon the listener with an even more urgent and intense follow-up to 2011’s Cosmogon. Mixing the dark, engaging atmospherics of Neurosis and the urgency of Norma Jean and Converge, Banshee O Beast makes for an interesting listening experience.
Coilguns’ Louis Jucker temporarily takes over vocal duties for Banshee O Beast due to the ongoing vocal cord issues of regular vocalist Danek. Most of the nine tracks are around the three and a half minute mark, aside from the seven-minute “Night Ride, Death Touch”, and certainly have a substantial hardcore aggression and potency, yet they also manage to regularly squeeze in captivating contrasts in tone and tempo to warrant the post-metal label.
For fans of: Amenra and Rosetta
Banshee O Beast is out now on Division Records
Coughdust – Worldwrench
Finnish doom/death four-piece Coughdust features current and former members of Rotten Sound, Deathbound and Corpset, and following an EP and a cracking split with labelmates Demonic Death Judge, Worldwrench is their second full-length offering. For a doom album, Worldwrench is relatively short at a shade under forty minutes and to the point; there’s not much room here for contemplative meandering or for the endless repetition of a Sleep-esque riff, but that doesn’t mean that Worldwrench lacks either groove or lashings of heavy riffing.
Opening with the intense feedback and crashing crescendo of “Serpents of the Earth”, Worldwrench has the rhythm and fuzz of doom with the powerful bite of death metal. Many of the six tracks follow a similar formula to the opener; a slow, trudging (in a good way!) intro that builds to a potent peak with Murtonen’s raw, distorted snarl and Latva’s riffing and soloing played over the rhythm section’s thunderous backing. Worldwrench is a dissonant, gruelling listen. In other words; exactly what you want from a dark death-doom album.
For fans of: Asphyx, Coltsblood and Acid Witch
Worldwrench is out now on Suicide Records