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Cough / Windhand

Reflection of the Negative

(Relapse; US: 12 Mar 2013; UK: 12 Mar 2013)

Review [16.Apr.2013]

Doomy sludgy goodness from a couple of up-and-comers.

The self-titled split EP from doom metal outfits Cough and Windhand features just one song by Cough and two by Windhand, but the tunes give the listener plenty to absorb: together the three total more than 36 minutes. Cough’s 19-minute epic “Athame” features sludgy guitars, a leaden beat, and a vocalist who sounds as if he’s being eviscerated even as the studio tape rolls. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as the guitars do possess a pleasantly earthy tone that matches the thudding tempo and overall air of gloom. Cough is clearly interested in ploughing the same furrow as, say, Electric Wizard, and do a fine job of it. With half its lyrics consisting of the repeated mantra “Black altar, ritual suicide”, you get a pretty good idea of where Cough’s bloody, still-beating heart lies. Windhand features a rounder, bass-heavy guitar sound, and a bit more verve on its two tunes, although “verve” is a relative term when discussing bands like this. The vocals are cleaner, too, and that, combined with an ever-so-slightly bouncier energy in the 11-minute “Shepherd’s Crook”, makes for a slightly more accessible doom/gloom/black/death metal listening experience. It’s a stretch to call either of these bands “pop”, but Windhand has a slightly smoother, ear-friendly sheen to its dark-hued cries of despair.

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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Reflection of the Negative via Bandcamp
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16 Apr 2013
This is the music that the Grim Reaper listens to as he pulls Bong rips through sludgy black water!
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