Cough/The Wounded Kings "An Introduction to the Black Arts" split LPPosted on Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 @ 7:05am » permalink
Another solid offering from Forcefield Records sees Richmond, VA's Cough teaming up with UK act The Wounded Kings to offer up one lengthy track apiece for a total of 35 minutes of ridiculously crushing doom. Cough kicks things off with the 20-minute "The Gates of Madness", opening with dingy, distorted drones and feedback that gradually transition into the slow, pounding riffs you'd expect from the genre. From a musical standpoint the whole recording is oppressively thick, from the pulsing throb of the guitars and bass to the hard-hitting thumps of the percussion – but the vocals are just completely raging, black metal-esque snarls under a dash of reverb, so they really slice through the density of the mix. However, about a third of the way through the track the vocals take an unexpected turn towards a singing style, and the core of thick 'n' gritty power chords is joined by some rocked out lead breaks and dissonant riffing to keep things moving. The Wounded Kings follow with the 15-minute "Curse of Chains", which is similar in overall structure, but carries a toned down approach (i.e. the distortion isn't so over the top and allows for more breathing room throughout the mix) and adds hints of a horror soundtrack meets 70's rock vibe via tactful keyboard atmospherics and singing vocals that – in line with the overall feel of the piece – follow more of a "classic" doom aesthetic. I'd definitely say that The Wounded Kings are more about creating a sense of atmosphere than simply beating you over the head with the weight of their riffs, and they do succeed. As a whole this is actually my first exposure to both bands, and as all good splits should achieve, I'm certainly interested in hearing more from each contributor.
As usual, I encourage you to pick one up if you like what you hear. The LP's limited to 1,500 copies: 300 on green and 1,200 on black…