Published Oct 16, 2019A debut full-length is a special achievement for any band, but to present one that can stand firm alongside any number of genre stalwarts is not to be taken lightly. In this way, Coffin Rot have burst up from nowhere in a flurry of viscera and screams to curse us with one of the best surprises of the year, A Monument to the Dead.
Aside from two demos and a split, there was barely a hint of the punishing, concussive impact that Coffin Rot achieve with their first great undertaking, which is exemplary of yet another young band absorbing the virtues of the old guard and casting it in their own image.
While Coffin Rot wear their influences plainly on their sleeves, they are no less steadfast in maintaining their own flavour, and manage to avoid being overtaken by recycled riffing and hollow homages. There is plenty of Autopsy and Obituary to be found in Coffin Rot's wielding of groove in songs like "Miasma of Barbarity" and "Copremesis"; vocalist Hayden Johnson's growls occupy a position somewhere between Obituary's John Tardy and Six Feet Under's Chris Barnes.
Between the undeniable gallop of chunky guitar chugging, Coffin Rot frequently lay into a more frantic state of blasting reminiscent of early Cannibal Corpse. But never are these references so obvious as to be derivative. Coffin Rot works with a tried and true style, but "Forced Self-Consumption" is anything but bland and by the numbers, proof that these guys are using the past as a guide, not a crutch.
Given Coffin Rot's relative youth as a band, it is all the more impressive that A Monument to the Dead doesn't have an overt weak point along its perfectly timed eight tracks. While it is notable because it is their first, A Monument to the Dead is just a quality death metal release. If this is where Coffin Rot are starting, we should be watching intently for what this horde do next. (Rotted Life)