Going on 20 years as the colossus of Japan’s extreme metal underground, Tokyo’s Coffins has shown no signs of slowing down. Boasting 4 weighty full lengths and no dearth of EPs and splits, this latest offering from Tartarus, entitled Craving To Eternal Slumber (Hammerheart America), is what we kindly refer to in the biz as “more of the same”. This is no fault however, as their œuvre has suffered from no shortage of death/doom cannonading that borrows from the crush of DM veterans Incantation, sludge impresarios Buzzov*en, and the rolling punk inflected gallop of Ilsa. I could go on, but to over-complicate Coffins’ mephitic, yet basic stew is to ovsrstuff the cauldron.
Being a short and sweet handful of songs, and the second major release featuring the new line-up, opening track ‘Hatred Storm’ charging in like a loose, and rather ticked off pachyderm. Alternating between Swedeath romps and grooving headbang sections, complete with a sweet solo by axe-cutioner and former frontman Bungo, the dynamics are set in place for the rest of the effort. The production, in following with previous LP The Fleshland, is considerably less thick and wet than it was in times past, but their sound is no less suffocating, as evidenced by the title track’s menacing, swampy lurch.
While the EP does hold up to multiple listens (I may be on my 10th now), its strengths lie primarily in the tracks that sound a bit more, for lack of better word, ” written “. The title track, despite its initial plod, picks up your attention with a sample of a man being tortured, adding a whole new dimension to this exploration of misery. Opener ‘Hatred Storm’, with its initial kick to the teeth, and the grand neckbreaker that is closer ‘Decapitated Crawl’ also hold the primary meat of interest, not to say the other tracks are at all gristle. A delectably rotten teaser, as Coffins is nothing if not infinitely industrious with their (a)musical output, and will continue sculpting new visions of horror for what I hope is another 20 years. At least.