Review Summary: Japanese doom sludge filled coffin.
Despite being released in 2005, Coffins’ Mortuary in Darkness
was re-released in 2012 with the addition of a better mastering process and a few live tracks. This Japanese three piece may not be any different to any other doom/sludge metal band on paper but with their own flavour and a twist on the growls created by an accent the 2012 Mortuary in Darkness
comes as a steady and a little more than enjoyable record than it really should be. Unlike many sludge records these days Coffins focus on a healthy display of riff after riff rather than an overbearing display of minimalist melancholy. That’s not to say it’s not there, there’s just less of a focus on drawn out passages and ritualistic patterns. It’s a doom record that the listener can actually bang their head to.
When describing the music, all the typical bases have been covered, nothing here is out of the ordinary but positively enough this sludge metal is feedback laced, providing a raw atmosphere without having to record an album on the inside of a tin shed. The music is dank, low tuned and the typical cookie-monster styled growls punctuate through the albums’ length, unfortunately for the vocals they seem to be roughly one pitch throughout. Even the track titles are typical of the genre; gods, pain and darkness are all mentioned without having to succumb to mixing dead animals with sex acts not found on your typical pornographic website. Rather the album is straight forward, consistent and well executed. Leaving the listener with an album that may be boring in some places but still maintains a solid play back value. A highlight of the album (and also the longest track) comes in the form of ‘The Unspeakable Pain’ where a little bit of everything is involved. The mid-paced track thumps through with deep guttural growls and simplistic ideas that for the most part are done well. Listeners can sit back and enjoy these mellowed out riffs and steady beats casually bopping their heads in time with the music.
Overall, this Japanese sludge metal band brings all the essential components to the proverbial dinner table. It’s got the riffs, the deep drawling growls, pounding drum lines, an atmosphere that runs staple with the genre and in places enough melancholy to allow the album to float along. Mortuary in Darkness
provides what listeners want in this particular genre, that’s not denying that the record isn’t flawless. The album borders on tiresome in a couple of places and could even be considered a little ‘generic’ but the fact remains that this accessible slice of metal with the inclusion of some obviously live recorded tracks (as in they sound very un-polished) displays a band capable of releasing some solid material. It’s not the best, it doesn’t need to be. Besides a couple of filler tracks Mortuary in Darkness
highlights Coffins’ solid workmanship released in 2012.