Sometimes, as an artist or a fan of art, you have to return to your roots. You have to go back to that place, to that moment, where a particular work twisted your guts, got your heart beating faster, and taught you what true love meant. For me, it’s pulling out some old Stephen King short stories, or cracking open ‘Salem’s Lot for the umpteenth time, or maybe reading some Lovecraft and Howard and Burroughs. When it comes to music, I tend to try and move forward, never really dwelling on the past that much. But then I’ll hear a Sabbath song and I’m off, back into that world, the one that charmed me and seduced me, the one that taught me what wrecking my neck was all about.
For a band like Glass Coffin, it’s all about a return to the primitive, to the days when Black Metal was plenty dangerous, when you’d get those demos in the mail (Ha! Remember that? Probably don’t because you’re so young, but in the olden days, we had to wait for snail mail to bring us the goods; we’re all so spoiled now) and listen and think: “Is this band okay in the head?” That’s kind of what Glass Coffin is like, a reminder of when times were different, when the music was somehow more pure, and the guy making it gave an actual shit about what he was doing.
This is the newest Glass Coffin release in about four years, and the master behind the sound, Hellwulv, hasn’t lost a step. Bound to the Demon’s Abyss basically amounts to an EP, with six songs clocking in at around 22 minutes. So he steps in, slays your ass, and then goes home, all in the running time of a typical TV sitcom, only this onslaught isn’t funny. The songs are all furious (except for opener “Enter the Screaming Gates” and closer “Reflections in Hell,” which are basically atmospheric intro and outro pieces) and none of them give a quarter. You a fan of basement-dwelling, Satanic fury? Look no further. This is about as lo-fi as it gets. Sure, you can hear everything, but it’s all pushed back, somehow, the riffs cold as Skadi’s icy nipples, and an evil sentiment permeates every nook and cranny of this cantankerous affair. Yes, it’s Black Metal, and yes, there’s plenty of Punk thrown in there to keep you off-balance. This is simply what Glass Coffin does.
But don’t be fooled. This isn’t some nostalgic trip to times lost. This is very vibrant, very of the now. The rage and despair are real and present. The vibe is current, and the overall power is as modern as it gets. The package may be wrapped in ancient furs, but it’s still a goddamned wolf when you slip the ribbon off. If you’re into this, then get to it. If you’re not, give it a try. This might be your first step into a world filled with horror, terror, and fucking awesome riffs.
Four Buckets of Blood out of Four