I’ve been on a Bongzilla kick of late, and If you are unfortunate enough to be my friend on Facebook, you will know I recently asked for some recommendations similar to Bongzilla. I was craving more fuzzed out , nasty sludge with harsh vocals.  The recommendations were solid with Dopethrone, Eyehategod and Demonic Death Judge being the the ones that itched the scratch the best, but like an omen, here comes the second album from Beldam, and it also fit the bill perfectly.

I reviewed the band’s debut, Still the Wretched Linger, back in 2016 and it was a solid slab of fuzzed out blackened sludge/doom. The band has since relocated from Virginia to Seattle, WA, and switched out singers, with Randall Guidry now on vocals and writing lyrics. Both changes have benefited the band as Pasung (The Indonesian practice of physical restraint and confinement of the mentally ill) is an improvement on the debut on all fronts. It’s nastier, sludgier, blacker and more festering, matching the albums title.

Guidry has added more vocal variety with some deeper, cavernous growls in the mix of pained shrieks, and the guitars seem a little thicker and ‘oozier’.  Eyehategod, Dopethrone and Iron Monkey, as with the debut, remain heavy influences as the 6 track, 50 minute release shambles, slithers, oozes and crawls amid an aura of human filth and misery. Not so many stoner-riffic grooves or  weed drenched haze (though it surfaces here and there as heard on (“Shed the Coil”), but more of a focus on sickly, hacking and phlegm spewing fits of retching noise.

As with the debut, this isn’t so much a collection of tracks where you pick and choose standout riffs or moments, but rather a scab picking, nauseating descent into sonic bedlam where the likes of “That Which Consumes You”, “Carrion Feast”, “Sunken Sorceress” and “Vial of Silence” drags you down kicking and screaming.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
March 14th, 2018


  1. Commented by: Jay

    This is goddamn good shit Erik. Killer review.

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