Another band who proves black metal does not have to be fast. Granted this might be thought of as blackened doom by some. The second song lifers leans more into the black metal side of the equations as the tempo picks up. They have a very organic and sludge like tone. While this might point to more of a Darkthrone influence, it reminds me of Fister. "One Last Smoke" does fall back into more of a doomy place as it has touches of Black Sabbath amid the plentiful nods to Godflesh . The vocals are more sung than snarled though set back into a shroud of reverb. There is an angular discordance to them that kept the creepy feel in a darker place .
Things stay weird on "Ankle Deep". It is more atmospheric. The murky dense ugliness is harder to sink your teeth into until the drums come in. Then a more shoe gaze like vibe crosses over into "Black Bird". i like how there is a beautiful little melody wedged into the sonic buzz of darkness. This gives it a more Swans like vibe, without being a blatant imitation. The dark ominous direction things go in with " Opiate the Hounds" , It is more of a droning affair, they have collected some interesting sounds to create it but I think what goes down on " Maze" makes for a better song. It has a pretty crushing sludge like riff driving it. The vocals are a spaced out whisper that goes into more of a snarl.
We are midway into the atmosphere of "Crown of Lies" before it actually converges into a song. When it does it is a dark creeping post rock affair, which I am in favor of , I just wish the fat had been trimmed on the front end. The last two songs find the air leaking out with a droning sludge of sound more than a song and a cover of a Godflesh song. They do a good job of covering it but it seems a little redundant considering how big of an influence Godflesh seems to be. I would have stepped out of their comfort zone if I was these guys. Overall this album is a dark and enjoyable listen I will give it an 8.5, as even in the moments I am less drawn to , if you are a fan you will dig it.