Top marks to Loathfinder (no I’ve no idea what a Loath is or where to find one) for clocking in at full ambitious tilt on their first outing. The Great Tired Ones are a total mystery to me too, by the way, and I’m none the wiser after several listens and a few minutes staring intently into those bulging eyes on the cover. But such trifling matters have no meaning in the face of such a juggernaut as this: a demon infested slab of blackened doom rumbling over an earth scorched with hellfire and littered with charred skeletons. The distorted, grinding doom rolls along with the best of them while providing just the right of death metal groove to imbue those elephantine riffs with a feeling of arcane weightlessness. The crushing riffs remind me of Portland, Oregon’s Nightfell, with a similar guitar tone and with a similarly rumbling destructive intent. The combination of all that and the menacingly grim vocals provide this EP with a centre of gravity that pulls you into a world that is as darkly as portentous as it is bleak.

Each track provides an indelible Loathfinder footprint – impressive for a band with only four tracks to its name. Namely, shifting chords that combine unsettling melody with every increasing pressure. Genetic Gloom is the perfect choice as opener, combining the unnaturally heavy chords with a clean, baleful break that assures you this band is not just here for the riffs and giggles. By the time the guitar solo arrives, it’s no surprise that it’s more dark and twisted than the average doom band. Rising and then choking again into the rumbling bass and the menacing, circling percussion. The next track is led by a much more angular riff that forces itself out of the gloom before driving into a pulsing gait that proves Loathfinder are going to fill every minute of this 28 minute release with proof they are a force with a grander design than the average doom death band. While third track Scents of Regression really begins to soar with a grandiose solo clashing with the main body of the track nicely at the end in classic doom style.

It’s the title track where the band really breaks free with nine minutes of flesh-flaying vocals in combined assault with the find of heaviness and teasing melody that most bands only ever dream of. This EP provides just enough to set Loathfinder apart and, while the repetitive doominess may challenge some, it will be like manna to others. There is plenty here to sink into, but there also feels to me like ample scope to really explore this sound in a longer release and drag you right into the world of Loathfinder.

(7.5/10 Reverend Darkstanley)