Tuesday, January 3, 2017

CD Review: UNCOFFINED Ceremonies Of Morbidity (Memento Mori) by Alan Lisanti

Ceremonies Of Morbidity
Released October 24th, 2016
From the vast sea of music I'm always swimming in, I can't recall exactly how I initially stumbled onto Durham UK's Uncoffined. I heard their song, "The Devil And The Old Cursed Tree", from their debut album Ritual Death And Funeral Rites, and I immediately went down to my local record store and asked them to order me the CD. What struck and stuck with me the most upon hearing the band's debut offering, was the emphasis on the Doom element in their approach. Where most Death Doom bands tend to start from the Death Metal side of the spectrum, and interject a bit of Doom into their Death Metal pallettes, Uncoffined is very much grounded in the Doom side of this equation. So, when the band claims to be Doom Metal of Death, I have to absolutely agree with their assessment. In fact, the moniker fits them and sums them up very accurately. It's what sets them apart as well. So, needless to say, when I heard the band was working on new material, the anticipation propelled me to return to my local record store once again. This time, Ceremonies Of Morbidity was on my radar. After a few months of harassing them, I finally hold the band's follow up release in my hands. The riffs trudge along with a sinister methodology, and the songs expand and contract as effortlessly as they ebb and flow. It's no easy feat to follow up your debut with the same magic qualities still present in the material, but Uncoffined has kept all the integral pieces that worked on their first release intact, and seem to have expanded it all beyond even its own supposed limitations. 5 songs of unrelenting Doom Metal of Death that pays a tasteful homage to the past heavy hitters of their genre, but has no problem finding its own identity and forging its own path. These songs are not 2 minute long get in and get out assaults. They are long and layered. It's easy to get lost in the atmosphere and riffs when listening. You may find yourself losing track of time. They don't feel too large to digest, nor do they suffer from redundancy. They vary at precisely the right times, and never let you go once they grab hold of you. It's like watching a good horror flick. When the ingredients are right and the pieces all fit into place, you tend to get lost in the film and forget about the outside world for awhile. Uncoffined's Ceremonies Of Morbidity possesses that same quality about it. Press play, and drift into the graveyard. Front to back, there is not really a weak point on the album. Uncoffined bleeds the old school. It's prevalent in the songs. It's almost as if someone buried the ghosts of Doom's past in a tomb, and Uncoffined unearthed the vault from its forgotten sanctuary. Perhaps Highgate Cemetery has a few hidden treasures embedded in its soil. Uncoffined has managed to excavate the forces of evil that some would prefer didn't fall into the "wrong" hands, and they have utilized it and harnessed it to create a familiar but completely different beast. It's interesting to note that "The Devil And The Old Cursed Tree" (from their debut album), and "The Horrors Of Highgate" were based on local legends and lore. K. Shevil's lyrics, unforgiving vocal presence, and all the musical components help to bring these stories to life to the point that I almost feel as if I've been to Highgate even though I've never set foot on UK soil in my life. There is a quality to the songs here that tends to transport you to the setting in which they are based upon. This is not Death Metal. This is not Doom Metal. It's not even Death Doom either. This is...Doom Metal Of Death! Ceremonies Of Morbidity is available now on Memento Mori Records. You can grab your copy directly from the band as well. Doom on! -Alan Lisanti

Track list:
1. The Horrors Of Highgate
2. Plague Of The Uncoffined
3. Ceremonies Of Morbidity
4. Ill Omens Of Death And Disease
5. Awakened From Their Dormant Slumber

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