Review Summary: Fuzzy Doom to a slow rescue!
Just when you thought Relapse couldn’t produce another quality record they hit you with the new record by Cough, aptly titled Ritual Abuse. I guess all these guys have in Richmond is weed and Sabbath, but if that means records like these, that’s fine by me.
Cough are a doom band that mixes the best of bands like Electric Wizard, Black Sabbath and The Atlas Moth to create the sludge-fest that is their second album, and their first on Relapse called Ritual Abuse. 53 minutes of slow, nihilistic, feedback filled doom crammed into 5 songs.
This means that Ritual Abuse is filled with slow tempo’s, feedback, ‘simple’ Sabbath-style riffing, drones and a suffocating atmosphere which would create a great soundtrack for a satanic mass. Does this mean that there is no melody in these songs" Hell no, but there is just enough melody to say there is a psychedelic hint on this doom record. This mostly shines through in the feedback and wah-wah filled solo’s that creep in every now and then.
For a doom record this has a very ‘clear’ production. Sanford Parker (Minsk, The High Confessions, Circle of Animals) is responsible for that. Even though this record has distorted bass, fuzzy down-tuned guitars, lots of feedback and even a synthesizer part on one of the songs, all the instruments are present and audible in the mix. It doesn’t sound like a blurry wall of sound. One of the strong points, next to the production, on Ritual Abuse are the vocals. They sound like a younger less powerful version of Ozzy half of the time, but the other half of the record they change to a black metal type scream that really fits the sober and nihilistic mood set by most of the songs.
I haven’t heard Cough’s first record, but if it sounds anything like Ritual Abuse it’s a must have for any doom fan. So if you like Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard, Conan or The Atlas Moth go out and listen to this.