COFFINS serve up another platter of filth with their second full-length release, “The Other Side Of Blasphemy.” Fans of the band know what to expect, and will not be disappointed, as this record contains plenty of the downtuned, plodding Death/Doom for which the band has come to be known. And while COFFINS will likely never develop a reputation for having a sound that evolves with every new album, this release demonstrates enough growth to set it apart from its predecessor.
Most obvious is the wider variety of tempos employed herein. Make no mistake, this is not an uptempo album. However, neither are all of the songs laboriously slow, as they were on “Mortuary In Darkness.” Opener “Blood And Bone” is faster than anything that appeared on the debut album, falling securely within the midtempo range. True to their roots, however, tracks such as “Destiny To Suffering” and “Only Corpse” are lumbering and deliberate.
The overall dirty sound that characterizes this band remains intact. Guitar riffs are ultra-downtuned and hyper-distorted. Bungo Uchino's voice belches out vocals of such demonic quality as to make even the most pious of saints fear for their spiritual safety. The production quality is again gritty, enhancing the high-volume effect of amplifiers trembling within their cases.
The only inexplicable, out-of-place moment comes at the end, with closing track “Rise.” Not a song so much as a three-minute sound effect of wind blowing across a barren landscape, this draws upon one of the most cliché devices in Black Metal in an attempt to create a wintry atmosphere. For a band that proudly sticks close to the conventions of blasphemous Death Metal, this indulgence inserts a touch of pretentiousness into an otherwise flawless release.
COFFINS deliver the goods. This is Doom that pledges solemn allegiance to old-school Swedish Death Metal. Well-worth picking up for the fan of heavy, plodding, pounding, evil music.
(Online June 21, 2010)