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Rating:
8.5
Coffinworm - IV.I.VIII
18 March 2014


01. Sympathectomy
02. Instant Death Syndrome
03. Black Tears
04. Lust Vs. Vengeance
05. Of Eating Disorders And Restraining Orders
06. A Death Sentence Called Life


This whole blackened sludge foolishness seems to be developing into a pretty legitimate fusion within metal circles as of late. In case you weren't paying attention, back in 2010 the Americans in Coffinworm carved a pretty fine name for themselves in this emerging scene with When All Became None, which has slowly gained praise as one of the highlight albums of the style. Four years later, we see them following up on that release. Coming off of an album that's been so well received is never an easy task for a band, but in this case Coffinworm are rising to the challenge and triumphing.

For Coffinworm, IV.I.VIII (that's 4.1.8 for the ones who never got in on Caligula's orgies) essentially feels like the natural continuation of their previous album, albeit with a few minor differences. Perhaps most evident, whereas When All Became None kept to a mostly moderate tempo, even doomy at some points, the band's sophomore album sees a significant increase in speed, as opener "Sympathectomy" makes clear right off the bat, and "A Death Sentence Called Life" reminds in case you forgot. In such instances, the guitars take much more of a black metal tone as well, in a way making the combination of the two subgenres feel a lot more complete than on the previous album.

Having said that, Coffinworm have by no means abandoned their sludgey nature that forms the core of their sound. IV.I.VIII is, as could be expected, a filthy riff fest: groovy, violent, and pleasantly catchy. Sometimes these riffs can feel like they just drag on and on, but for the most part they always seem to be cleverly spinning around each other, working towards a climax that feels whole and naturally built up when it finally arrives, "Lust Vs. Vengeance" being quite a fine example.

When compared against When All Became None, it's honestly very difficult to say whether or not IV.I.VIII is better or worse, and ultimately for many listeners the answer will be likely to come down purely to a matter of listening preference. Both albums are unquestionably quality cuts of blackened sludge, although I personally find myself preferring IV.I.VIII because here the sludge and the BM elements feel a lot more leveled out, and although the necksnapping moments aren't in the majority, they're certainly present to the point of satisfying those who were looking for them. Coffinworm have proven their consistency of songwriting with this second full length, and where some other bands within the blackened sludge style have seen a bit of a decline in quality following their "best" album, these guys are staying strong and remain unconquered. Sludge AOTY? Quite possibly so.

Ready for some bleeding ears?

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: Coffinworm
Album: IV.I.VIII


 



Written on 22.06.2014 by
Apothecary
"I don't know how y'all see it, but when it comes to the children, Wu Tang is for the children, we teach the children"
-ODB
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tea[m]ster - 23.06.2014 at 11:43  
Yup. Awesome record. Just discovered this band with this release so I will probably check out their previous. I like this more than Thou's latest. Nice review and thanks.
Apothecary - 23.06.2014 at 17:08  
Written by tea[m]ster on 23.06.2014 at 11:43

Yup. Awesome record. Just discovered this band with this release so I will probably check out their previous. I like this more than Thou's latest. Nice review and thanks.

Thanks man. Heard of Thou, although I haven't yet checked them out. Blackened sludge too, I'm assuming?
Mr. Doctor - 23.06.2014 at 21:35  
Written by Apothecary on 23.06.2014 at 17:08

Written by tea[m]ster on 23.06.2014 at 11:43

Yup. Awesome record. Just discovered this band with this release so I will probably check out their previous. I like this more than Thou's latest. Nice review and thanks.

Thanks man. Heard of Thou, although I haven't yet checked them out. Blackened sludge too, I'm assuming?


Not really, but they are pretty ugly with their sludge,a lthough the latest has some calm interludes here and there. You should check it out, but you would do better if you start with their older stuff which is generally better.
Marcel Hubregtse - 23.06.2014 at 21:48  
Good album by them but I do prefer their debut whcih was a bit meanier and rougher.
Daggon - 12.07.2014 at 21:35  
I liked this album a lot, after a couple of spins, I can say I enjoy it as much as their debut, but I can't prefer one over the other, both of them feel unique, sounds like they are developing a sound of their own.

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