Still the Wretched Linger

Much like my reviews, most pre release press and PR one sheets or emails are pure, hyped up drivel about the best album ever released that will change metal for ever. However, sometime the press sheet has a simple to the point RIYL section that I usually got right too. In the case of Virginia’s Beldam (NOT Bedlam),  and their debut, its perfectly succinct and to the point accurate:

” Influenced by the likes of Sleep, EyeHateGod, Graves At Sea, The Melvins and Black Sabbath, , EyeHateGod, Graves At Sea……….Still The Wretched Linger” is a relentless record, bulldozing through 40+ minutes of pure desolation! For fans of Bongzilla, Brainoil, Coffins, Conan, Crowbar, Dopethrone, Grief, High On Fire, Indian, Neurosis, Noothgrush, Om, Orange Goblin, Order Of The Owl, Pelican, Primitive Man, Pungent Stench, Rwake, Soilent Green, Sourvein, Thou, Ufomammut, Weedeater and Zoroaster

BAM! The review should really write itself from here on out, as I’m not sure I’m can do a much better job. And while that is certainly a lengthy list of bands, it covers all the bases, some more than others and spares no influence for the curious listener. Personally, I’d hone in way more on the Thou, Eyehategod, Iron Monkey, Dopethrone, Rwake and maybe throw in early Cough and less  (or none) Pungent Stench and Pelican, but you get the idea.

This is pure sluuuuuuuuuudge. Blackened nasty, doomed out fuzzed out, hacking, wheezing sludge. Sludge for meth addicts, picking at sores and shuddering from body racking paranoia and ripe with the stench of fresh piss. As if the album title itself didn’t clue you in, song titles like “Needles” “Blackened Violet”, or “Her Unbearing Abyss” should clue you in on the haunting and unsettling mood that Beldam create.

And considering I have been on a bit of a black sludge/doom/binge of late,  ingesting lots of Graves at Sea, Lord Mantis, early Cough and Highgate,  Beldam  (still not Bedlam) are sating the itch, which is now a seeping open wound. The pained howls, growls and feedback drenched, oozing guitars that deliver icky, crawling festering riffs and grooves are a nauseating mix. It’s not memorable or catchy/fun/groovy sludge, but the likes of “The Foundling” or closer “Beauty’s Martyr” (with a misleading stoner doom start….) will certainly stay with you. Like severe  Periodontitis…

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 1st, 2016


  1. Commented by: Jay

    Fuckin’ killer review Erik. I’m really liking this. Dirty as fuck and hitting that darker side of the genre. I can get down on a catchy riff anytime but sometimes I just want to hear instruments plunging to the bottom of the sea and getting crushed by the pressure. I’m a big fan of all of the bands you mentioned in the last paragraph and those vibes are all over this.

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