Coffins – The Fleshland (Relapse Records)

Friday, 28th June 2013
Rating: 8.5/10

When was the last time you got really dirty?  Like covered in bile, mucus, human ash, and rancid blood fucking dirty?  Not very recently?  Well fear not, my reasonably clean friend!  Tokyo’s Coffins’ eagerly anticipated 2013 album The Fleshland will wash over you like the black plague, which is meant in the best possible way.

If we look to the artwork to set the tone for the album, the excellent cover by Chris Moyen conveys an apt sentiment for what lies within this fourth full-length release (amid a mind-blowing number of split releases) from Coffins.

Coffins strength lies in their ability to meld death and doom metal into one ugly sonofabitch that works extremely well.  What really seals the deal on the sound is a crusty element to the music which perhaps will set it apart from what you would think of, when checking out a “death/doom” band.  This is bombastic and heavy as hell, but it is also fairly simplistic and straight forward (which is perfect here).  It’s easy for musical darkness and weight to get lost in needless over-complications of the more technical death metal variety.  You won’t find that here.  Additionally, there is a ton of standard death metal and doom metal out there which, to be honest, can get kind of boring.  Both genres can lend themselves to monotony pretty easily.  While dipping their toes in both pools, Coffins do not overstay their welcome in either camp.

The recording has a raw edge to the sound, which is an asset to the overall feeling that the album emits.  The production adds something of a greasy ugliness to these nine well crafted songs.  Album opener “Here Comes Perdition” lets you know what’s ahead, and if it perks your interest, I think you’ll like what’s to come.  Although the album feels a little longer than it really is (46 minutes), if I had to criticize one thing, maybe that would be it.  No big deal- as this monstrous, brooding, evil album delivers.  Highlight: “The Vacant Pale Vessel.”

Coffins official site