Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Cough : "Still They Pray"

This self professed stoner sludge band, gives us the chance to explore where the lines between sludge and doom lie. The opener is dense and has a more impressive vocal performance than I expected. It is slow and powerful, but the raw fuzzed out distortion hits you more like a wall than wallows in the mournful atmosphere. About six minutes into the lumbering 8 minute jam it's sluggishness strikes me as slightly repetitive. So this may or may not be an ill omen of what's to come for the seven other songs to come. With members from Windhand and the Sword there is no doubt in regard to the caliber of these guys talent. There is more of a snarl to "Possession" that brings the band Indian to mind. The clean vocals remind me a little more of Mudhoney when they come in. This brings up an interesting point which is sludge tends to have more punk roots than doom, which is a more un-apologetically metal genre.

With "Dead Among the Roses" the lyrics take on a  a darker and more sorrow prose. the vocals are a tenor sneer with enough of an edge to it to not sound like an Ozzy wannabe. They drone on the same riff spicing it up with a guitar solo here and there. The slowly begin pressing down on the gas to accelerate. "Masters of Torture" finds the vocals get nastier as the music slows to a more oppressive pound. I like the chant of " live to hate , hate to live" There is more disgust than depression here. There is a stab at actual singing on "Let it Bleed". The instrumental jam "Shadow of the Torturer" is one of those songs I can hear going over well live, but little more than back ground music when playing it at home.

The more anguished drone of "The Wounding Hours" that really benefits from the pulse of the synth beneath it it more engaging than the previous song. Vocally the harsh screams are emoted from a place similar to Eyehategod here. The title track is an acoustic ballad , which is pretty straightforward almost folk. This is good for what it is, I can let it play, but nothing too ground breaking I'll give it a 7.5.

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