Cough – “Still They Pray” (Relapse Records)
Produced by Electric Wizard’s Jus Oborn and recorded with Windhand’s Garrett Morris, you just know that this 3rd album from Virginia sludge / doom / psychedelic masters Cough is gonna bring together some of the best talent in the field – and brother, it doesn’t disappoint! Eight gargantuan tracks, each of massive proportions taking you on a mind bending trip melding heavy doom noise, depressive sludge and hallucinogenic psych on a colossal scale. Distorted guitars drenched in reverb, vomit inducing feedback, ultra bleak riffs and even more suicidal melodies grind with dirty, phat bass and stonehenge drums as Parker Chandler’s embittered vocals take you to the edge on abyssal epics like ‘Shadow of the Torturer‘, ‘Possession‘ and ‘Haunter of the Dark‘. Certainly a band in the extreme, some tracks are bereft of any compassion, while others have some of the most emotional, heartbreaking melodies I’ve ever heard incorporated into such hateful tones. Throughout, the enigmatically named Cough keep it commendably tight with their arrangements and musicianship, so as not to understate the twisted genius behind this immensely powerful music on what is without doubt genre album of the year so far.