Released: 2011, Selfmadegod Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
O’ HELL, SHINE IN THY WHITED SEPULCHRES is the sophomore full length from Encoffination, a death/doom/funeral sludge duo who sound like they live in the very bowels of hell. It’s a nasty, gnarly, somewhat disturbing album that often makes you want to take off the headphones and walk away, but somehow keeps you rooted and listening on.
With the exception of the intro “Sacrum Profanum Processionali,” each of the album’s tunes creep along at a snail’s pace; slow, resonating low tuned riffs that warble and strain like a goliath in his final moments of life. The drums seem to only exist to act as a sort of processional accompaniment. The vocals are guttural and visceral, sounding like frontman Ghoat is about to vomit at any moment. Speaking of Ghoat, when not mired in the sick minimalism of Encoffination, the dude works a day job as a Funeral Director, which I can say from having personal experience working in that industry is a pretty depressing gig. One can surmise that being surrounded by death and grief day in and day out must provide creative fodder for these tunes, and whether intended or not, that seems to lend some authenticity to the album’s morose subject matter.
As for the songs themselves, there’s not really much to distinguish one from the other. Slow, guttural, low tuned riffs that sometimes get played a little faster than others; that’s pretty much it. The closest equivalent would probably be Autopsy when they get all slow and dirge-y, but the tunes here are stripped down even more than what you’d expect from Reifert’s crew. But goddam, it gets under your skin.
Encoffination isn’t a band for everyone, and there will be plenty of folks who will listen to O’HELL, SHINE IN THEY WHITED SEPULCHRES for all of 90-seconds before declaring it complete and total shite. However, if you can get past that first 90-seconds, you just might find yourself still strapped in 40 minutes later wondering, “what the hell was that I just listened to?,” and then pressing play again.