Coffinworm: IV.I.VIII

Crust-caked sludgers make an earth-shaking return

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Not blackened doom, but sludgy, blackened crust, the crust constantly cracking over the molten, smouldering lava underneath. Previous efforts have been more than solid, yet IV.I.VIII is, or at least deserves to be, a game-changer for Coffinworm.

Even the magnificent ouroboros on the cover testifies that this is a huge step forward on every front. The main improvement is the layering of the guitars and riffs, with the basic Neanderthal, piledriving movement supplemented with creepy-crawling, labyrinthine licks, sending Coffinworm further away from human dimensions and towards something way more monstrous and otherworldly.

Coffinworm no longer sound merely like pissed-off, heavily intoxicated puny humans in a sweat- stinking rehearsal room, but devastatingly possessed, in the midst of an astral journey to the black nebula. Producer Sanford Parker (Corrections House, Yakuza, Wovenhand) did a stellar job in accentuating everything that marks the band’s forward motion, plus some marvellous nuanced touches like those unsettling explosion sounds towards the end of opener Sympathectomy. In short, this is just how a world-eater sounds.