Released: 2013, Memento Mori
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
I must admit that when a Metal band makes any reference to films produced by legendary Hammer Film Productions, they immediately pick my interest. So, how about a Doom Metal band with Death Metal vocals that tends to use samples from these films as a way to add a conceptual air to their music?
Of course I am going to be intrigued! Uncoffined hail from Durham, England with a slow, heavy sonic attack that uses growled Death Metal vocals, and the six-song record can be described as a mixture of Candlemass and Autopsy devoid of any blast beats or Grindcore sections.
This does not mean that the music is in any way boring; the band know how to create guitar riffs that pull listeners in through melodies that develop slowly from chord changes that overlap at a snail's pace to create a sound that is monolithic. This should be no surprise when you consider that the group is composed of various veteran musicians from bands such as Blessed Realm, Morstice and Winds of Genocide. It should also be added that the record is produced by none other than Brian Talbot a.k.a. Bri Doom, guitar player for legendary Crust Punk band Doom.
The album opens with "Twisted Shape of Creeping Terror" is a slow dirge which includes a sample taken from the classic 1966 Hammer Horror film The Plague of the Zombies that helps to
contextualize the topic of the song: it's a slow number that conjures up images of a rotten zombie slowly making his way from the cemetery to civilization to find victims.
The instrumentation has this wall of sound quality that is constant even when the bands picks up a little speed. Sometimes this tendency is broken in some sections later in the album to add either Death Metal riffs or melodic guitar solos. "Night of the Witch Childe" is an example of the former, as the song includes a section with double bass drum and a guitar riff that is reminiscient of Obituary. " The Devil and The Old Curse Tree", which includes a sample from the movie The Devil Rides Out, and the title track include eerie guitar solos that have an almost Blues like feeling that create a creepy atmosphere.
The album ends with a cover of U.S. Doom Metal band Revelation, entitled "Frustrations", in which Uncoffined employ a more melodic approach then in their original material. While Revelation is a Doom Metal band that employs a clean, nasal vocal style more in line with Ozzy Osbourne's work with Black Sabbath, Uncoffined's Death Metal vocals nonetheless prove effective on this version.
I enjoyed listening to Uncoffined's "Ritual Death and Funeral Rites": even though it has all been done before, the band managed to craft a record that nevertheless proves effective in creating an horrific ambience, just like the films from which the band takes their samples. The band uses a lot of repetition of their riffs to achieve this, which may turn off some, but if listeners are patient, they may suddenly find themselves entrapped by the music offered here. It is no coincidence that this description has also been applied in reviews of the movies which the band chooses to use in their songs and as influence for their music.
Review by Titus Isaac López