Kiss of Death The Kiss of Death

Overlook the atrociously bad stoner cover art that adorns the Kiss of Death’s five-song self-titled EP and you will find a wealth of superior sludgecore corruption within to stain the soul and blunt the pain. Drawing heavily (really, really heavily) from the likes of likeminded musical misanthropes Eyehategod, Cavity and Iron Monkey, muddy riffs of Sabbathian weight, harmonic feedback cries, frayed vocals screaming unknown condemnations and the requisite Southern doom oblivions are delivered with all the bile and abuse you’d expect from the scene’s heavyweights, most of whom have succumbed to the pains of their own wounds at this point, leaving a void to be filled. Given a slightly more linear, catchier attack due to its members’ hardcore pedigree — vocalist Jon Gula and guitarist Jeff Hydro did time in the awesome but underappreciated Turmoil — these five songs aren’t as indulgent or as slow as a lot of stoner/sludge/doom can occasionally be, mainly retaining the more upbeat, classic punk/HC tempo while coming dangerously close to EHG emulation much of the time. Still, sludgecore/doom bands make their name on honesty, not innovation, and the Kiss of Death drop musical malice that would make the lords of despair smile. (Tribunal)