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Cough / Windhand

Reflection of the Negative

(Relapse; US: 16 Apr 2013; UK: 15 Apr 2013)

Review [23.Apr.2013]

Doom, doom and yet even more doom! Continuing in the great dark work of the Relapse cult, Richmond’s Cough inaugurates this split with “Athame”. Named after the hallowed knife found on a Wiccan altar, it’s eerie build up cuts into you just like the namesake ceremonial relic. The ritual begins with a near 20-minute funeral dirge that drudges sluggishly through each measure as if the band were towing led coffins chained to their necks. Cough’s side of the split plays like a vulture of amp wattage hovering ominously above you.

But before the pungent smoke (with a peculiar hemp-like smell) can clear, Relapse neophytes Windhand answer Cough’s call to backward prayer.  Bloody chalices rise in tribute towards their two-pronged end of the split. Picking up where their self-titled debut on Force Field left off, this coven continues on in their brand of Sabbathian, red-eyed doom metal, serving a grim foreshadowing of what’s to come on their upcoming full-length release for Relapse. Front-woman Dorthia Cottrell wails like a banshee; her howl swelling from under the gloomy, down-tuned haze with haunting timbre. Windhand’s brutal, yet ethereal sound does more than hold its own against a hard act to follow.

On Reflection of the Negative, both bands set a dense tone for all others in the genre to follow this year. Fans of the doom scene will erect a shrine to this split. It will inspire such austere respect from genre disciples that none would conceivably use its record sleeve as a rolling tray without viewing it as an act of sacrilege.


Frank Lopez is a writer and musician based out of Miami, Florida. Frank is the editor of Tales of Perversion zine. He also writes for, and can also be found in the blog-o-sphere at as well as at Frank is also a fixture of the local Miami music scene, having been a member of several local musical groups over the last two decades. He currently plays bass for the post-Death/Doom band Cave Man Cult. Primarily a music writer that focuses on the more obscure genres and artists, he also writes on his other interests such as anthropology, sociology and esoterica.

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