Coltsblood - Into The Unfathomable Abyss - (8/10)
Published on May 3, 2014
Genre:Sludge / Doom
Rumors of war…
The Liverpudlian trio Coltsblood was conceived around the time when frontman John McNulty left the mighty Conan, post Horseback Battle Hammer. Also featuring badass axewoman Jem and sticksman Steve (who has since left the band), Into The Unfathomable Abyss is a trip through a corrosive bog overflowing with mucous sludge.
Coltsblood is synonymous with downtuned guitars, slow crushing bass, and epic mythological themes. As the title suggests, Into… is also a staggeringly dark affair, akin to being deliberately tarred and feathered. Opening to pounding drums of war, “Beneath Black Skies” is a 14-minute epos of caveman riffs and crawling insanity. The rumbling thunder of McNulty’s bass is accompanied by intensely atmospheric guitars, fusing disturbing drone with a psychedelic touch. Relegated to the background, the frontman’s cavernous growls are like an angry neanderthal cursing his gods from the depths of his murky lair.
Tracks like “Blood” and “Ulfheonar” slightly pick up the pace, expanding into a triumphant stride akin to Conan’s later output. Of course, this being sludge, “picking up the pace” still means slow as molasses, each colossal note twitching and slithering, serpent-like. A terrible force, Coltsblood demolishes and pillages everything in the way of their wild hunt. Sluggishly bubbling up from the primordial soup, Into… punches you in the face and then crushes you under its massive bulk.
Surveying the barren lands they’ve left behind, Coltsblood appear as a intimidating entity. Although the impenetrable wall of bass is borderline exhausting at times, Into The Unfathomable Abyss more than delivers what the title promises. The oppressive sounds of murder and madness rarely feel as enticing as this.