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Coffins - The Other Side of Blasphemy

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Artist: Coffins

Album: The Other Side of Blasphemy

Label: 20 Buck Spin

Review date: Nov. 12, 2006

There are plenty of bands posturing for chief casualty in the category of meth’d out trucker blues. They come forth wearing beards as long and filthy as the skid marks in their shorts, blackened hands detuning pawn shop specials until a few raps with a skull ring can nearly produce a riff smelling vaguely of Tom G. Warrior. Yet, the riff remains unclear, poorly formed and entirely artificial. Japan’s Coffins understand influence. They harness it so that it becomes an end in itself rather than another dreary and fabricated means to an end.

When Coffins guitarist/vocalist Uchino plugs in, he plays towards nothing so much as the very fucking end: Earth’s molten core, seas of fire that dare to cease into one great phallic tree of scorched black magma; plate shifting, fault felling divergence. That’s goddamned guitar tone. Uchino growls and grunts and rakes his fingers over six filth-covered strings. Koreeda brings the Mick Harris back-up screech and plumbs the depths with his bass, strings strung so loosely they hang from the neck like a Jersey cow’s heavy-veined pink teats. Drummer You sends his skins and brass in like the scum filled surf, frothy with salt and heavy with the stench of oil choked fish.

Despite line-up changes and some brief flirts with the long distance sludge more typical of Corrupted, Coffins has maintained its vision of staunchly linear metal. Yes, the style draws equally from Hellhammer and G.B.H. – the sort of trashy chug that sounds more like a construction site’s earth movers and 18-wheelers, commandeered by a fetid lot geeked-out on NoDoz and 60 ounce Joes. Guitar, bass, drums, cymbals and voice all work perfectly together, bending, rolling: 100-year-old trees torn down over time by lulling, yawing wind. And when Coffins lapses into slo-mo, they do it with extreme prejudice, lowering Doom Metal’s limbo bar just millimeters from the cigarette-butt filled floors.

By Stewart Voegtlin

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