Coffin Lust may be a new name to some, but the Australian death metal band is comprised of members whose other projects you’ve likely come across before. The duo of J.R. (Nocturnal Graves, Impious Baptism) and P.W. (ex-Denouncement Pyre) first came together in 2010 and released a demo titled ‘Beyond the Dark’ in 2012. While the other groups these two are known for have skewed towards the black/thrash and black/death sides of the spectrum, Coffin Lust is a bit more straightforward in their exploration of a dark, mysterious death metal sound.
It has been nearly four years since ‘Beyond the Dark’ originally came out, but it should be evident the first time through the band’s debut full length ‘Manifestation of Inner Darkness’ that this span of time has been put to good use. Today we’re excited to offer you a stream of the entire record, so you can soak in the dark, ugly tonality and mysterious atmosphere that makes it feel like you’re hearing emanations from beyond the grave. It’s another strong showing from Hells Headbangers, who continue to be one of the main labels releasing material from the Australian underground.
What makes ‘Manifestation of Inner Darkness’ so appealing is Coffin Lust’s ability to channel that raw, otherworldly death metal style without falling too closely into either the Swedish or American sound. You’ll often see bands mention being influenced by the late 80s/early 90s time period and then proceed to write songs that fall just a bit too closely to the sound of one particular group. But this is avoided throughout each of the eight songs, with the instrumentals channeling elements of both and weaving them together in a way that doesn’t feel like a mere rehash of the past.
Coffin Lust likes to stretch their ideas out, with quite a few of the eight songs running past the six minute mark. With this emphasis on longer song lengths comes songwriting that’s able to sustain it, as the band has a tendency to slow things down and build a thick, mysterious layer of atmosphere while saving the attacks for key moments. The title track is a perfect example of this, as it begins with a slower, lumbering riff that is drenched in filth and darkness before hitting the listener with a well-timed blast of aggression. Production wise there’s a bit more clarity when compared to some of the demos and albums the group is clearly influenced by, but this clarity hasn’t sacrificed any of the rawness or gnarly tonality.
Alongside the grittier tonality of the guitar and bass, the vocals help to fill out the bottom end of the sound with a lower growl that reverberates over the rest of the sound. This isn’t one of those albums where the vocals have been buried in the mix and have to force their way through, as Coffin Lust has instead chosen to given them plenty of breathing room. It’s an element that works to their advantage, as the screams and growls benefit from the thick tonality and seem to tower over them, getting deeper and fuller as each song move forward.
‘Manifestation of Inner Darkness’ showcases a devotion to the grittier, dark sound of death metal from decades past without falling into a pattern too close to that of one particular band. Coffin Lust has showcased themselves as a group capable of delivering longer, drawn out pieces with the songwriting to sustain it, and their devotion to the core tenets of death metal shows.