Review : COUGH – "Ritual Abuse"

Cough– Ritual Abuse
Release date: 2010Oct26 (US)
Label: Relapse
Rating: 4/5

Ever wonder what it would be like if you were to combine the DNA of Black SabbathElectric Wizard and Harvey Milk? You would end up with Cough. Hailing from Richmond,VA, Cough plays a dark brand of sludgy doom. Three out of the five songs top off at 12 minutes each, so expect one hell of a slow ride!

“Mind Collapse” has a strong similarity to Harvey Milk, especially in the bass line. Listening deeper, a blackened doom vibe is also present. “A Year In Suffering” is another excellent track with guitars that pay homage to Black Sabbath. Lyrics like “Eternity has turned its back on me / Cripple the will to survive /In total darkness, no light can shine / Forever lost, frozen in time” suggest personal demons. I didn’t really hear much different in “Crippled Wizard”.

It’s one thing to nail down a signature and consistent riffs but it takes the proper level of mastery to create a track like “Crooked Spine”. It’s very soulful upfront, with mature melodies that don’t bore the listener. At 6:20 in,  David Cisco (guitar) and Parker Chandler (bass) give an exercise in doom metal riffage, trading licks back and forth in a way that pays proper homage to the genre. The title track also has an epic feel but it seems to run on for too long. Overall, an excellent album that shows the potential of Cough. It’s their second release and I feel that they can definitely improve upon their sound over time.

FCC: Clean
Try: 1, 2, 4

01. Mind Collapse
02. A Year In Suffering
03. Crippled Wizard
04. Crooked Spine
05. Ritual Abuse

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