When All Became None firmly implanted Coffinworm’s blackened sludgy doom into the minds of those brave enough to listen, and with their debut the Indianapolis-based band dredged from the depths a mass of disgust so heavy that it’s taken four years for them to create a follow up. IV.I.VIII is a record of hate, ugliness and filth. Coffinworm have taken all that was deadly about When All Became None and twisted it into ever more suffering tones, and as such, IV.I.VIII writhes with a tangible sickness, one that seeps into your pores and leaves you feeling dirty, rotten and incomplete.
IV.I.VIII is aggressive, and opener “Sympathectomy” barges out of the abyss with throaty screams, guttural yells and frenetic guitar work, before the track slides into slightly slower territory and lies low with malevolence. The churning guitar (C. & G.) and bass (T.) lines meld with steady, heavy strikes of drum (J.) to create an atmosphere of deep unease, giving Coffinworm a distinctly feral tone and lifting them into realms of complete and utter misery. The track forays into doomier patterns at times, contrasting with the speedier portions, which allow the song to breathe with a deadly sickness and a current of malicious intent before it ends on background blasts and cloying feedback.
IV.I.VIII continues to punish for its entire running time, the album spinning with filthy progressions and consistently harsh vocals from frontman D. His voice writhes with a bilious aura that slips and pours into the cracks of the song, digging deeper and deeper into unclean truth. The screamed introduction to “Black Tears” showcases his range, which passes from higher registers to bottomless growls all too easily. The track segues from a terrifying missive to a groove-laden chasm with unnatural effortlessness, yet it never loses that underlying sense of danger. The guitars pulse with horror and the drums hold it all together with a beaten rhythm that often shines through the murk. Sanford Parker’s production here is massive, and each element is given the freedom to reign without detracting from the bigger picture.
“Lust Vs. Vengeance” is a disgustingly heavy-toned beast, and Coffinworm dredge unknown depths to generate a feeling of total exhaustion. The drums gallop while the dissonance of the guitars breathe a mist of tripped-out vibration over the closing minutes, with D. once again setting fire to the shadows with that ferocious roar, before “A Death Sentence Called Life” bursts through the darkening clouds to grab you around the throat with a vile intensity. This final track twists and turns with sheer abhorrence, the raging and violent strength hammering through the drums and relentless guitars to stamp its point all over the ground on which you once stood. It’s blistering, demanding and cruel, and IV.I.VIII ends on an immense trip to the absolute nadir of the human condition. Coffinworm are here for your soul and there’s truly nothing you can do to stop them.
IV.I.VIII is released on March 18 via Profound Lore Records and is available to pre-order now.