When All Became None
posted on 5/2010 By:
None of my numerous visits to Indianapolis have ever led me to believe that the pleasant Midwestern metropolis could produce anything like this. Detroit and Toledo, sure, but not Indy, home of the champion Colts and a slightly famous racetrack. But as every exploratory kid discovers, when you turn over the log with the pretty little ferns growing on it, you discover the grime, decay, and bottom-feeding specimens of the world. This is where the drugs flow freely, the trodden-down and outcast reigns, and nary a bit of medical waste goes unused.
Coffinworm was born of and exists for this societal underbelly. Debut full length When All Became None might be characterized as the midpoint between a grind-less Soilent Green and a black metal version of YOB, or perhaps a less progressive and more suicidal incarnation of Withered. Whatever the description, the result is so brimming with nihilistic hate that only song titles such as “Strip Nude for Your Killer” and “Spitting in Infinity’s Asshole” fit the bill.
The band ladles from various cesspools to assemble their stew: a combination of half-blackened, more straightforward chord sections, several negatively-parabolic and self-destructive sludge breakdowns, the occasional EHG groove, and some very deliberate screeched and gurgled vocals, all filtered through a stellar production job by the seemingly tireless Sanford Parker. The only real fault plaguing When All Became None is also possibly its defining trait, in that it consists of more riveting moments than it does full songs. These include the glacially-slow ending to “Start Saving for your Funeral,” a mid-tempo blackened groove in “Blood Born Doom,” and the intro to “High on the Reek of Your Burning Remains.” Make no bones about it, these passages destroy, but the majority of the album only qualifies as “quite good.” Of the six songs, the one that works best as a whole is closer “The Sadistic Rites of Count Tabernacula,” a mix of deluging sludge doom and blasting black metal that even allows Coffinworm to let out their inner Neurosis for a spell. Also, that title might just out-Jus Oborn Jus Oborn in the battle of awesomely occult THC-induced creativity.
To the delight of sludge fans everywhere, this only sparse brilliance is largely inconsequential. The album relies more on face evisceration and a fuckin’ slaying sound than it does on deft composition or variation, and the sense of impending doom and unbridled misanthropy certainly don’t hurt. Would a more dexterous songwriting approach benefit the experience? Absolutely. But rest assured that as it is, it easily achieves the obvious goal of musically violating the listener.
Coffinworm seem truly eager to dive headfirst into the most disease-ridden end of the modern sludge pool. When All Became None is not a statement of purpose, it is a threat. All of your worst fears can and will come true, no matter what those fears may be. Like most bands of their style, they aren’t going to appeal to everyone, but if you delight in making Grandma unnaturally soil herself, this will certainly do the trick.
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