Take a seat, lay down, or better yet, lay in a hole. Liverpool's Coltsblood and Seattle's Un have teamed up for a brand new split filled to the brim with dread-instilling doom. The former, a sludge-ridden death and funeral doom trio, and the latter, an evocative funeral doom outfit, each contribute a song that eclipses the 20-minute mark.
Un is riding high following the release of last year's stellar Sentiment. For Coltsblood, they released the great Ascending Into Shimmering Darkness in 2017—hopefully, this split signals oncoming music for the Merseyside three-piece. Still, for all the highs these bands experienced in the last couple of years, their music makes listeners feel low like something fierce. Through poignant and artful compositions, they tap into vivid imagery and despondency.
“'Snows of the Winter Realm' was written over the Winter of 2017 and recorded upon the snowy full moon of the following January with Tom Dring at Vagrant Recordings," Jemma McNulty, Coltsblood's guitarist says. "The song conjures an epic journey from life on this Earth to what lies beyond. It was an outpouring of emotion, inspired by pagan spirituality, nature, the seasons and the wilderness, beauty, and mystery of the lands that surround us."
As a whole, Coltsblood's offering strikes a balance between two musical extremes. This arrangement coupled with lyrics's story tell makes a very immersive experience. The shifts between towering extreme doom and raucous death metal rest on a fulcrum of immaculate precision and timing. Careful ebbs and flows meter this longform beast and John McNulty's savage growl ties both tempos together. The wait for new Coltsblood material has personally been a long one. This new piece of music certainly satisfies that need. It's a strong showing for the group and arguably their best arrangement to date.
Un's "Every Fear Illuminated" premiered back in January at Decibel. Vince Bellino summarized the track saying it is "…a large canvas and Un cover it gracefully, weaving depressed melodies, ambiance, and the occasional bit of feedback into the song." This is undoubtedly true. The Seattle quartet have quickly become one of the more powerful doom products in the last five years. Tracks like this showcase why. The band, like with much of their music, uses personal loss as a motivator for the new music. "'Every Fear Illuminated' is a song inspired by loss and grief," Monte McCleery briefly says. "It is an homage to loved ones now passed and a reminder to cherish our own finite, delicate existence."
Now given Coltsblood's contribution on this split, this combined effort makes a wonderful display of extreme and evocative doom metal. While the song lengths may seem a bit daunting, each band rewards listeners' patience with what may be their most brilliant work. "We are honoured to share this with Un, we have wanted to work on something with them since we first heard their doom," Jemma McNulty says in closing. "Both bands have poured our hearts and souls into this release and we’re thankful to have shared this journey with them.”
Listen to the full stream featuring both bands' songs now. The split comes out this Friday through Translation Loss Records. They have vinyl copies available on their website which are available for preorder now. Also, follow Coltsblood and Un on Facebook.