Review 2183 : Coffins – Sinister Oath – English

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Coffins walks again.

Formed almost thirty years ago in Japan, the band led by Uchino (guitar/vocals, Oozetopus), Satoshi (drums, Oozetopus), Jun Tokita (vocals) and Masafumi Atake (bass/vocals) unveil Sinister Oath, their sixth album, on Relapse Records.

The album kicks off with B.T.C.D., a first short instrumental composition that reminds us just how greasy and oppressive the band’s sound is, but above all, how extremely catchy! Riffs are simple but massive, and the arrival of the cavernous vocals on Spontaneous Rot only serves to accentuate the phenomenon, making us shake our heads on this thick crushing rhythm while the drums regularly bludgeon us. The screeching leads also reinforce the abrasive side of the track, as does Forced Disorder with its haunting approach complemented by much more lively drumming, then quite changeable with totally frantic passages before leading into the apathetic introduction of Sinister Oath. The drums add a little dynamism to the eponymous track, letting the deep growls find their way in to terrify us before flaring up and trampling us underfoot until Chain takes over with an upbeat rhythmic pattern conducive to all kinds of crowd movement. The morbid vocal parts are obviously there to darken the sticky mix, then it’s Everlasting Spiral‘s turn to plunge us into its gloomy tones, followed by dissonant harmonics. Very long but also totally hypnotic, the composition finally speeds up to welcome howls for its final part, which finally gives way to savagery on Things Infestation, which is undoubtedly one of the most aggressive tracks on this album, if not in the entire Japanese discography. The pace only slows with the arrival of Headless Monarch, which pays homage to the band’s heady Doom roots with sporadically more ethereal guitars that create a real contrast with the violent Death Metal touches shaking the composition. The end of the album is marked by Domains of Black Miasma, which first lets the musicians deliver a solid rhythm before slowing down, then plunging us one last time headfirst into their gradually disappearing vortex of darkness and abysmal slowness.

I always take intense pleasure in listening to Coffins, and this new album is the perfect complement to their discography, with some incredibly powerful riffs! Sinister Oath is definitely one of this year’s greasiest and most oppressive albums.


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