What’s that they say about good intentions? In a spectacular display of poor time management, I’d meant to have this review out around Halloween, and it’s less than two weeks before Christmas. Where did November go? Although this isn’t as seasonal as I’d intended, Uncoffined’s second album, Ceremonies of Morbidity, is a great slice of death/doom.
As it’s been established, I’m a huge fan of the death/doom scene from the 1990s and still carry torches for the Peaceville Three. While death/doom had gone nearly extinct in the early 2000s, we’re seeing a bit of a resurgence of late, and I welcome it.
One such up-and-comer is the UK quartet Uncoffined. This was my first exposure to them, and if their debut was half as good as Ceremonies of Morbidity, I’m going to have to seek it out as well.
This isn’t an album for people who balk at extended track lengths, because not a single song on this album runs under ten minutes. However, if you’re willing to give the album a chance, you find it quickly gets under your skin.
Opener The Horrors of Highgate is a thirteen-minute behemoth which bludgeons most other songs about vampires into dust. The central riff has an epic feel, and really shows off the band’s skills.
Switching from vampires to zombies, Plague of the Uncoffined continues the moody direction set in the first track. The remaining tracks follow similar patterns, evoking darkness and horror while keeping the songs interesting throughout their extended track lengths. With no song under ten minutes, this shows off the band’s songwriting ability.
Complaints are few, with my main one being the one- to three-minute movie samples at the top and/or bottom of each song. While I’m all for setting the mood, you’re treading dangerously close into Rob Zombie territory, and it interrupts the flow. Otherwise, I’m sure others will point out some derivative elements in the riffing, but it all works so well that I’m willing to let it slide.
If you’re in the mood for some horror-themed death/doom and aren’t afraid of extended song lengths, then Ceremonies of Morbidity is definitely an album you want to take a look at. Assuming the rest of Uncoffined’s catalog is this strong, they are a band you should keep an eye on.
Special thanks to Transcending Obscurity PR for the complementary review copy.