BY MICHAEL TOLAND
If its pop culture is anything to go by, Japan loves excess. Ultragory horror flicks, synapse-frying animated TV shows, flinch-inducing pornography, wild crazy drunk and pilled up rock & roll (howdy, Guitar Wolf!) – this country rarely met a line it didn’t want to cross. Its heavy metal is no different – Church of Misery is the biggest flag-waver, but even that serial killer-obsessed troop goes only to eight or so when compared to Coffins.
The Tokyo death metal quartet ain’t just heavy – it’s fucking heavy. Its latest chunk The Fleshland mires itself in guitar tones thicker than a kaiju’s thigh (courtesy composer/producer Bungo Uchino), with a rhythm section that starts with stomp and gets more brutal from there. Frontbeast Ryo Yamada does his level best to transmute Godzilla vomiting into (barely) human speech – his unintelligible vocals have more in common with radioactive ooze than singing, sailing around the horn of self-parody back to where he started. But it’s hard to imagine any other kind of voice declaiming over Uchino’s monstrous axe torturing, and lyrics like “Outbreak of war/Taste the real nightmare/There is no mercy/Only abysmal death” work better with sludge than clarity anyway.
Coffins ain’t for the average joe, no matter how well acclimated he (and it’s almost always a “he”) may be to metallic ear mangling, but if you’ve the courage to immerse yourself in this particular pit of sonic acid, a map to The Fleshland awaits.
DOWNLOAD: “No Saviour,” “Dishuman,” “The Colossal Hole”