The Coronation

One wouldn’t think it would be the crushing weight of despair that brings couples together, yet here in the wake of Nadja‘s many successes we find ourselves with another product of unholy matrimony in the form of Laudanum‘s The Coronation. The apparently unhappily married Judd and Becky on guitar and drums/vocals respectively form the core of the group with wacky neighbors Greg Wilkinson (Brainoil) and Nathan Misterek (Graves at Sea) joining in on the utter lack of fun on bass and vocals. Laudanum does in fact share Nadja‘s approach in so far as enriching the texture of the tunes with electronics though where the latter is more in tune with cosmic contemplation, the subject of this review prefers a grimmer, more minimal take on industrial nihilism, horror movie bad vibes and the like.

The similarities end there however as Wilkinson’s heavily resonated bass lines and Judd’s battery acid distortion tilt the proceedings in a more stoner-ish direction, more Fleshpress than Bongzilla mind you, but either way some dense and dank shit right here. Misterek takes the low road on the majority of the vocal duties, as Becky pipes in some sickening highs as she alternates between plodding along and rumbling away in the background. Taken as a whole, the sound is methodically wretched, dreary and droning and if you listen close enough, you catch a lot of clever interplay between the electronic and instrumental elements, particularly on “The Last Sleep” where the sampler seems to harmonize with the guitars as Nathan mumbles and moans his way into full throated growls beneath which Becky’s ugly screams emerge.

Make no mistake however, that despite their thick guitar sounds and out there experimentations, Laudanum deals in head-nod, not headbang or head-scratch, and creates the type of sluggish sludge that appeals just as often to black metal fans as to doom fans in it’s cryptic, creepy rigor-mortis pacing and bleak, unrelenting atmosphere. That said, if the soundtrack to your misanthropy is often a bubbling bong, grab a loved one and give this a spin (20 Buck or otherwise), because remember, misery loves company.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by John Gnesin
September 1st, 2009


  1. Commented by: Jobby

    Damn but that’s an awesome band name.

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