Generation of Vipers
Coffin Wisdom

Generation of VipersHowl and Filth was, in my opinion, one of the top records from 2011. So it was with bated breath that I waited for the follow up, which arrived in October 2014 in the form of Coffin Wisdom. 

Follow-ups to favorite albums are dangerous, because bands run the risk of letting fans down by either treading water, or making unfavorable and unexpected changes to their music. Well, my worries were quelled by Coffin Wisdom. It sees the band capitalizing on the successful aspects of their sound while taking enough creative steps forward to avoid stagnation. 

The opening track wastes no time, beginning with a rollicking bass riff and then introducing familiar-sounding guitars before congealing into noisy, monolithic, hardcore-tinged sludge. The title track follows with a crunchy riff that sounds like something off of a Trap Them record played at half-speed, and dare I say, a poppy drum beat. The effects-laden guitars also lend an almost alt-metal vibe over the churning sludge. This is a new touch. There’s more noise rock influence overall this time around. 

“Dark Matter” brings the real doom with slowly shifting walls of thick guitars, and vocals buried deep in the mix. “You Deserve This” serves as a sort of intermission and really shows the band’s debt to Neurosis, with its layers of sounds and samples, repetitive militaristic drumbeat, and tortured vocals. 

After a forbidding, ambient intro, “Haunted” strikes an almost Cult of Luna vibe in terms of mass, without the high-reaching atmospherics. “Stolen Voices” conjures up a Jesus Lizard feel, and closer “Crawling on the Ceiling” features infectious tribal drumming and psychedelic guitar work within the sludge. 

In many ways, this is kind of the logical continuation of the previous. Howl and Filth seemed to operate primarily on the foundation of its sheer weight. The vocals were buried deep down and the production had an earthy tone that suggested massive space, and there was more of a focus on slow, deliberate builds. This one is closer up, the vocals more upfront, and more attention given to riffs and song structures. That’s not to say that this one is less atmospheric. You’re still caught in the dark alone, but this time the danger is nearer. Howl and Filth was a massive, lethal storm gathering, but Coffin Wisdom, like the dog illustrated on the cover, is only inches away, and ready to go for your throat.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J. D. Anderson
December 22nd, 2014

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