Last month Coffins released a split 7” with US sludge legends Noothgrush and I was really taken with that one. As I was trolling for my next writing project I came across “The Fleshland” by none other than Coffins and no one had taken it up yet. Even though it was a summer release and its now winter, I gave it go with some high expectations. Lets see if this japanese quartet held my doom and sludge hopes.
In short, “The Fleshland” is all what I expected and even more. This is nine glorious tracks of sludgy death gloom and doom, whats not to love from even these few words. The opener ‘Here Comes Perdition’ is just the perfect mood setter for the entire release. Slow, heavy lead in with a tempo pick up and the growls jump and and we are off on the hell ride. This album and the split were recorded with vocalist Ryo. Ryo has since moved on and in 2014 Coffins’ growling duties will be handled by Jun Tokita. We all wish Ryo well and welcome in Jun. From his work on “The Fleshland”, I can say that Ryo provided brutal and well rounded vocals to the release and I am sure Jun will add his own flair in the years to come.
‘Hellbringer’ takes the stage hard and fast. Great tempo on the low end. The backbone of Satoshi on drums and Takuya on bass, keep things moving and provide the steel frame to let the vocals and guitars and depth to this and all the tracks. Its a high compliment when the drums and bass blend so seamlessly that you almost, and I said almost, don’t notice them. For my ear that is a sign of a well constructed tune.
Coffins really capture the mood and feeling of the track titles. Just by reading them you get a sense of what to expect, you can’t always say that for a band. ‘The Colossal Hole’ is a slow uphill trudge through molasses in January in terms of speed and manages to really capture the feeling of what if we all fell into a colossal hole. Things would start of slow as we look down in disbelief and then speed up as out consciousness process what is happening, and then before impact slow again as our life flashes before our eyes in the brains last synaptic gasp.
True to sludge and doom, we have moved slowly through on three of the nine tracks of the album and at this pace this would go on longer than Stephen King’s The Stand. Lets just say the remaining tracks are was one would guess by my love of the first three tracks, heavy, low, and near perfectly executed. ‘The Vacant Pale Vessel’ is the highlight for me on this one. Not really sure even why, by that I mean, I can’t really formulate the proper thoughts. I guess I guess like the riff and beat on this one better than the others. To me it exemplifies all that is right on this release. Its just damn good.
This was out on Relapse this summer, if you have not listened to this one or their recent split with Noothgrush, go do it now. Run don’t walk to the nearest sludge doom source and get this. They have been at this since 96 with numerous lineup changes and still putting out the highest quality music, well done Coffins!