As the old school death metal revival reaches critical mass, the men are beginning to separate themselves from the mice; the bands that mean it, maaan are putting out seriously shit-kicking records in order to show they’ve got what it takes to hang with the old guard and then some. One such group of hungry young upstarts is Sao Paulo’s The Black Coffins. Possessing the South American penchant for filth ‘n’ fury and combining it with the gut-busting rumble of Stockholm Swe-death, these metal miscreants are putting other would-be OSDM practitioners on notice with their debut full length, Dead Sky Sepulchre.
I know what you’re thinking; everybody and their grandma is doing the Boss HM-2-addled Entombed/Dismember/Grave meets crust/hardcore thing; Southern Lord alone put out roughly 5,000 records worth of the stuff in 2012. But ya see, here’s the thing, there are bands doing it for the fashion and then there are the bands doing it with fucking passion; The Black Coffins fall squarely into the latter category. There’s a certain neck-snapping gusto that characterizes all the best Brazilian bands, you’ve heard it in the likes of early Sepultura, Sarcofago, Sextrash and more recently Violator; The Black Coffins are possessed by that same youthful exuberance (a recurring theme here at THKD) in spades, that same urge to tear shit apart and trample the remains into dust.
In listening to Dead Sky Sepulchre, it’s clear that The Black Coffins are influenced by more than just the usual suspects; I’m hearing a shitload of Integrity worship on several of these tracks, and where I come from there ain’t a damn thing wrong with it. It’s refreshing to hear a band who clearly shares my belief that Those Who Fear Tomorrow is every bit as crushing as Left Hand Path. Stockholm death metal and the Cleveland-bred “holy terror” hardcore sound of Integrity and Ringworm occupy a very similar sonic space; it was only a matter of time before someone hit upon the idea of fusing the two together, and The Black Coffins do it with a level of skill and intensity that makes Dead Sky Sepulchre sound like the work of battle-hardened veterans, rather than a debut album (I reckon there’s also a little Motörhead in the way these gents bulldoze through their tunes, but that probably goes without saying).
With Dead Sky Sepulchre, The Black Coffins have made the album all the bands attempting this style wish they could make. Go ahead, name a band; The Black Coffins roll right over them like an M-1 tank that’s been commandeered by a horde of blood-thirsty psychopaths. This is tuneful, bare-knuckled brutality of the highest order; the perfect soundtrack to knock-down drag-out fisticuffs in the middle of an abandoned graveyard. Whatever you do, don’t let this late-2012 release slip under your metal radar.