I’m not the sort of person to do things by halves, if I’m into something then I’m into it in a big way. Again, this can be a detriment as I can often times become caught up in my own little phases if you will. For example I might be really into reading for a time then music then gaming, it can change so quickly as well. Yet this is likely due to me being an absorber of knowledge. I don’t mean that in a pretentious manner I simply mean that I crave intelligence, even if that intelligence is based upon enemies from Super Mario, I know, how lame.
Not so lame, yet equally not doing anything by halves come Germany’s own Into Coffin. Their blend of Extreme Metal has been surprisingly not talked about much, even in the underground. However, this could be about to change. Having formed in 2015 the band set about their work and soon released their debut full length in 2016, Into A Pyramid Of Doom which gave listeners a taste of their lengthy extremity. As 2019 draws to a close and with it the bands boldest work to date, the one hour fifteen minute epic Unconquered Abysses through Terror From Hell Records. With blisteringly long tracks can this album be a meditative experience or will it slump into boredom?
The first of only four tracks Antediluvian Flames opens proceedings, clocking in at just over fourteen minutes it is the shortest track on the release. Yet surprisingly given its length it wastes no time in getting to the thick of it. Big Doom based Death Metal riffs surge through cascading drums, then comes the vocals which rumble with similar traditional guttural distortion through the thick mix. All this gives way for sluggish Drone-like passages that see the listener wave in and out of realms, going from speed to Doom ambience with little to no progression. It must be said that the slower portions of the album are the more enjoyable as Unconquered Light Of Nothingness so boldly displays through its introduction and indeed contradictory progression. The power is greater than the faster sections and indeed with this sort of album it’s all about getting into a trance state via total devastation.
Moving into the second part of the album and subsequent longer songs, both over twenty three minutes, we enter a new dimension. One that whilst similar appears more in depth as if the listener should now be fully immersed within the music, indeed this is the case. Catacombal Echoes From AB.ZU. is yet another journey of self-destruction or enlightenment, dependant upon your outlook, one that is as prior tracks demonstrate a sort of hypnotic divination. Coming to its bewildering climax the album ends with Archetype For The Total Ruin, a massive albeit unchanging development that sees the listener still caught up in a haze of mystery and supernatural contentment.
All in all I wouldn’t say that Unconquered Abysses is especially different from your average Death/ Doom album in that it sways with crushing blows and speedy sections with riffs that have been tried and tested time and time again. Indeed, if I were being cynical, I could deem it generic, yet its persistence, length and overall delivery make for an experience in itself, and I feel that shows growth in a band. This is after all only the bands sophomore full length and without wishing to pass to harsh a judgement I would commend Into Coffin for at least delivering a sturdy manifest of encircling Drone based Death Doom that is every bit as Extreme as one would expect and hope for.
(8/10 George Caley)