Coltsblood - Ascending Into Shimmering Darkness album review

Doom/sludge crew swap the Mersey for the river Styx

Cover art for Coltsblood - Ascending Into Shimmering Darkness album

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No one can make music this agony-inducing without requiring psychiatric evaluation, so intently do Liverpudlian triumvirate Coltsblood set about pushing all who listen to the precipice of their own oblivion. Each drawnout composition is an exercise in lowering the tempo into its own, self-dug grave before drowning it in noxious, anxiety inducing sludge. The opening title track’s first five minutes contain the record’s only vaguely uplifting moments, as melancholic dual leads and riff harmonies float over an igneous surface. Things take a decidedly uneasy turn, paranoia setting into the tune of blood-curdling recriminations with occasional bursts of blackened pace that detail a frankly enervating 13 minutes. It doesn’t get easier. Mortal Wound is a spinning void, perforated by disaffected percussive battery, while Ever Decreasing Circles highlights Coltsblood’s honed aptitude for suffering – a melodiously different shade, but no less painful. The product of a fertile north-west scene, the hatred and bile of disaffected, post-industrialist youth has mutated in cacophonous, tortured forms over the years – a toxin born of the existential suffering of millions.