I almost find it surprising that this is Coffin Torture's first full-length, these guys are killing it in a way I'd expect only sludge/doom veterans could do. Instruments are so massively distorted, I can't tell what is bass or guitar, but I'm loving it nonetheless. True, it could be considered a wall of sound with how chaotic everything is at all times, but there is a certain direction everything takes that pulls it away from some noise album and right into the realm of sludge. Really, it's almost surprising how busy Dismal Planet can be. Usually, I'd expect a whole lot more sustain and slow as hell drum lines, and there is a whole lot of that, but I don't feel like Coffin Torture wants to be strictly defined as a sludge metal group. That, or they'd like to keep the doors open for experimentation and growth down the line.
For instance, songs like 'Bolted Down, Boiled to Grease', 'D.H.F.', and the album's title track are what you'd call standard sludge – albeit 'Bolted Down, Boiled to Grease' really toys with the formula by progressively getting lower and lower, until the song feels as if it's boiled down to nothing. Both have the low and slow, distorted to hell, sound; are basically a corruption of doom metal. But tracks like 'Gustave' are borderline black metal, just without an abundance of treble, and far faster then anything else you'll hear on the entire album. The track itself is a wonderful oddity within Dismal Planet, and if Coffin Torture feels the need to expand or do something more along the longs of what 'Gustave' is doing, I'd certainly be aboard.
The only real hints of this being a first full length is the general randomness of the tracks, not in the sound but in the themes and titles. I almost expected, with a title like Dismal Planet, a little more effort was going to be put into connecting the whole – but that really isn't even an issue, just something I personally expected after hearing so many albums over the years.
Even after several spins, Dismal Planet still surprises me. I almost can't believe this is a duo, and I am still surprised this is the groups first full-length. So little mistakes were made, consistency was kept, and some risks were actually taken to keep things from being too similar. With so little information on the minds behind this wonderful abomination, I can't really gather what their musical history is or if this is a fluke of talent. Either way, we got Dismal Planet out of it.
-KEITH, THE ODD-