Coffin Birth by Extremity
I love me some old school death metal. I love even more when a new band does old school death metal. I love even more than that when a new band comes out and does old school death metal right. This is what Extremity has done. Please forgive the robotic facts I spit out from my death metal machine, but this is true. Coffin Birth by Extremity so awesome old school death metal by a new band done right.
From the album title, album art, and song titles alone; I knew I was in for a delicious death metal delight. “Coffin Birth”? Awesome. A dead baby skeleton emerging from a coffin surrounded by abstract abyss dwelling undead creatures and/or anamorphic body parts and such? Double awesome. Insightful titles to their pieces such as “A Million Witches” and “For The Want of a Nail”? Sign me right up. Upon further inspection, they are a southern Californian death metal sort of underground supergroup with a female bassist? Say absolutely no more. But, wait, there is more! This debut full length is brought to us by one of absolute favorite, and unashamedly proud Pittsburgh based, record label - 20 Buck Spin. AND ON TOP OF THAT, upon further inspection, this is a concept record. A death metal. Concept. Record. How many things that I love can be packed into this undead motherfucker of a coffin fetus? Just the fact that this record is supposed to sound like it takes place in a coffin (it does) and its a story about an alien father impregnating a dead woman and giving birth to said undead alien fetus inside said coffin, and this record is essentially the soundtrack to that. Spoiler alert: they nail it (no pun intended) .I loved this record before hearing a single lethal injecting millisecond of it. Now, to be realistic, I probably shouldn’t get my hopes up this much in case the actual music itself is disappointing, right? To that I say, fair point. But, I have the mentality of a six year old and will damn well get over excited at a record called Coffin Birth no matter what kind of logic you throw at me and GODDAMNIT I WASN’T DISAPPOINTED. Maybe next time, you logical fucks? Now that I’m done defending myself against a mob of logical Garth Brooks listening adults I’ve concocted in the depths of my imagination and projected upon you all as reality to justify my position in said death metal record, I digress and we’ll get to the music. Thank you for your time and attention.
Extremity, being the sneaky brutal little bastards that they are have snuck in an intro track via backslash into their opening song title, “Coffin Birth / A Million Witches.” I see what you did, and with a title like that, it’s hard to get mad at you. Coffin Birth is a sinister little haunting instrumental piece that perfectly primes the listeners death metal metabolism for a meal of A Million Witches, and I believe a thank you is in order, because that was much needed after hearing this tune. A Million Witches explodes into a sludge-y yet fast and brutal death metal assault on our ears, and had me grinning from ear to year as the guttural vocals form a volcanic mass of rotting flesh among the erupting drums fit for a mosuleum. The string section isn’t far behind, actually quite the opposite; because if this is any indication (and as any good true old school death metal should be) this record is RIFF driven. Praise whatever Gods you chose to praise, Extremity will deliver us a true death metal record for fans of fucked up shit. And fucked up music. Let’s fuck em up.
Where Evil Dwells.. well don’t tempt me with a good time. Citing influences such as Re-Animator and Dead Alive, its not hard to make that connection and see the over-the-top horror and splatter shine through these tunes. This song is another absolute ripper, heavy on the eerie riffs and growls… as it damn well should be. The next track, Grave Mistake, is anything but. Easily hearing the traditional Florida death metal stamp on this one, reminiscent of Death, Deicide, and the likes; this song is instant riffs death that crushes corpses forever and ever. I think were starting to pick up on the vibe of the record…
Being as this record intentionally was recorded with the purpose of sounding like the music was being played inside a coffin, I say they accomplished their mission quite well. And, therefore, the production is far from crisp and concise. It literally sounds like it was recorded in a coffin. Other than maybe some oozing afterbirth coating the coffin walls, I don’t think the acoustics of a coffin are fit for that of a perfect sounding metal record, unfortunately. And guess fucking what… I would hate to have it any other way. Track after track, regardless if you’re following the “storyline” or not in this undead concept record, the atmosphere is pumped through your head until it literally does feel like you are trapped in a coffin with this beast of a record. And to me, at least, that’s the ultimate listening experience.. and no easy feat to capture on record. Color me impressed… and blue.
Umbilicus is another standard old school death metal song, making room for the more epic For Want of a Nail, my personal favorite on the record. Complete with a demented (and supposedly extraterrestrial) spoken word intro, introducing the alien father responsible for this coffin birth, this song is a brutal fucker (pun intended) from star to finish. Once again, far from shy on the riffs, and the less than great quality drums providing the graveyard claustrophobic atmosphere, it’s just about perfect. What I’m starting to dig so much about Extremity is their somewhat daunting task of being an old school death metal worship type band, but completely being their own original thing at the same time. And they pass that test with flying colors. Very gross colors, I may add. Their “shitty” production is just an ultimate punk rock esque middle finger that makes the record all that much more enjoyable for me, and makes me really look froward to seeing them play live in the future (I hope).
Another thing about being recorded inside a coffin is it doesn’t leave that much room for diversity. Once you’ve made it this far, the gist is pretty much gotten. Or rotten? And you either are banging your head uncontrollably in the nearest cemetery (me) or you’ve shut this record off 25 minutes ago (not me at all). If we’re friends, the latter is untrue for you, and you look forward to the conclusion of this ghastly death metal fairytale. If you’re looking for musical diversity in your metal, there is a plethora of other bands to check out. Extremity simply is not here to do that and nor would I want them to. Stick to what you know and do it well.. even if what you know is necrophilia and butchery. Hey, we can’t all be civil engineers, right?
Our story is brought to a somewhat happy ending with Misbegotten / Coffin Death. You did it again with the backslash, you motherfuckers. Sneaking two songs into one, a haunting acoustic outro and a full on death metal assault concluding the story of the Coffin Birth. Another spoiler alert: It dies. And its another classic death metal tune ranking not only among the best of the album, but the best of death metal released all year. If this debut full length is any indication, Extremity is here to stay amongst the new crop of death metal bands. Maybe the coffin birth will get resurrected and we’ll have a concept album about his teenage years? Either way, keep ‘em coming, boys. And girl. Respect.
Rock Rating: 4.5/5
Gym Rating: 4/5
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