Dead Southern Bishop
Hymns of Malice and Discontent EP

Decent, if derivative, Dead Southern Bishop’s new self-released EP doesn’t make much of an impression. Their sound is firmly rooted in the southern sludge scene of the late 90’s and early 00’s and is similar to period bands Mugwart and Leechmilk. Being unoriginal isn’t necessarily an issue (i.e. Witchcraft, Orchid or, per this genre, Moloch), but the derivative sound and ineffective production bring this EP down to a solid “Meh” despite a handful of good riffs.

Dead Southern Bishop take the familiar tack of alternating mid to fast paced sludge riffs with slower doom and the occasional chunky breakdown. It’s not altogether bad. “White Trash Queen” is oddly catchy, and “Last Rites” has a compelling lead riff, but as a whole it’s a seen-and-done affair. “Bound & Tied” sounds like it has been written by a half a dozen other bands and the production leaves something to be desired. The vocals have distortion applied to them, which takes some of their edge off, and where the drums should boom, they thud. On the whole the production is a bit lifeless and processed. It’s a shame because the production ends up rounding off the vitriol this stuff thrives on. One can’t help but feel that a rawer, live sounding production would be beneficial.

It’s not bad, but it’s not great either. You could do worse for a sludge fix, but Hymns… certainly won’t be a lasting dose. Enjoy it for what it is; decent and straightforward southern sludge. Worst case scenario is that Dead Southern Bishop makes you dust off your Mugwart records and leave you looking to their future.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chuck Kucher
July 5th, 2012


  1. Commented by: Juan Manuel Pinto

    I wonder if that “lasting dose” phrase is a conscious reference to Crowbar…

  2. Commented by: Chuck

    Indeed, it is.

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