Doom comes in many flavors, but at the core of the sound there’s always a black hole, no matter what else may be draped around it. It’s just a question of how big that light-sucking core happens to be. On the forthcoming Southern Lord split LP by Noothgrush and Coffins, it’s massive.
My introduction to Oakland’s Noothgrush came in 2011 via Southern Lord’s The Power of the Riff tour, a limited run of west coast dates that marked the band’s return after splitting up in 2001 (and their first show in Seattle since 1997). Reading again what I wrote about the show (here) reminds me of what a revelation the band’s music was:
“Imagine this: You’re chained in an iron receptacle, and through vents in the bottom, hot paving tar slowly flows in. Inexorably, at a glacial pace, it covers your feet, it climbs up your legs, it reaches and passes the part of your body that does all the thinking, it covers your abdomen and your chest, your arms strain at their chains and you scream as the tar boils the flesh away until it reaches the empty cavity on top of your shoulders and pours into your ears, mouth, and nose, suffocating you in a blistering black agony. Your last sensations are the smell of your own incinerating flesh and the shrieking chants of this band’s vocalist…. Sick, sloooooow, sludgy, and ultimately irresistible.”
Pelican, who performed later the same night, posted this on their Facebook page right about the time Noothgrush finished their set: “Good lord, Noothgrush are heavier than a knapsack full of anvils.” Continue reading »