20 Mar 2017

Uncoffined: "Ritual Death and Funeral Rites"

Murky horror worship of close-to international class
The perfect mix between the heaviness of doom metal and the rotten aggression of death metal can be hard to point out, and different ratios may work for different bands. Bands like Asphyx and Autopsy hit the nail straight on the head with their first try, and have been churning out kick-ass records every since. British death-doom practitioners Uncoffined subscribe to a slightly different style, more reliant on horror and down-trodden moods.

Spanish label Memento Mori heeded their growling calls and released their debut album Ritual Death and Funeral Rites in the autumn of 2013 - And what a time to release it, for their decaying riffs goes exceedingly well with the damp cold creeping in through darkening weather and draining colours. Treated to a few classic quotes from the British school of horror flicks, we're sent on a journey through heavily distorted and down-tuned guitar melodies and roaring, cavernous vocals. The whole dirge echoes at a murderously slow pace, showing no signs of ever halting its funerary procession.

"...their compelling songwriting closes in on being merely immensely simple."

The churning chugs mixed in with a few darkly melancholic melodies are adequately accentuated by a powerful bass. The musicianship in itself speaks of a band seasoned in the arts of metal, especially when their compelling songwriting closes in on being merely immensely simple. Indeed the members of the quartet Uncoffined have all been active in several bands of varying genres, and this is highly evident on Ritual Death and Funeral Rites. Not because the album is varied of directionless, but because it is just so well written.

If one were to compare the accomplishment of Uncoffined to a more established act, it would be Finland's shooting stars Hooded Menace. However, this is also where the British band's shortcomings are revealed. Hooded Menace's popularity - apart from their insane flair for songwriting - is likely the result of the international death/doom scene booming and reaching what could arguably be called its all-time-high. In that regard, Uncoffined have joined the movement in the eleventh hour, almost completely missing the boat were it not for the great craftsmanship of their compositions.

If Ritual Death and Funeral Rites lacks something, it's tempo changes. The distorted convulsions on the guitar are of the essence in this manner, but without even slower or a few faster passages to emphasise their heaviness, it's hard to fully appreciate these crushing broadsides of sluggish overdrive and fuzz.


Released in 2013 by Memento Mori


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