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Coffin Dust - Everything is Dead


by Matt Hensch

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You know, I worked the graveyard shift just once, but vividly recall the experience. It started fine, grew wearisome, and finally ended in what felt like a fugue, no doubt fueled by exhaustion and my body trying to figure out just what in the blue hell I was doing. "Everything is Dead" reminds me of punching in and clocking out at some ungodly hour in its own little ways, some better than others. Given Coffin Dust's ties to Exhumed, it's no surprise "Everything is Dead" follows the path bulldozed by the gods of gore metal, but with a mild punk edge I'm attributing to The Misfits and others. Seems like the fitting ambiance for overturning headstones, stealing corpses, and general cemetery frolicking, right? Well, no. Imagine the disappointment when the weight of "Everything is Dead" snaps its skeletal digits clean off the joints.

Sitting through this is almost a bewildering experience. In less than forty minutes Coffin Dust drops off five songs split between two methods of craft, an intro that is toilet paper, and a cover tune. Three tracks follow a lengthy trek in which Exhumed-styled riffs and a familiar two-pronged vocal approach are human-centipeded to form death metal slabs of considerable detail. The remaining two don't bother fleshing out various paces, tempos, and detailed guitar work which define the longer cuts, and thus dish out slaughter serenades in three minutes or less. You don't need a PHD in necrology to realize a style rooted to Carcass et al. is often done better in simpler settings; these slices know they exist to say their piece and leave the building.

It is, then, no surprise Coffin Dust nails the quick numbers, but leaves the longer cuts lingering around for needless intervals. They are actually somewhat decent, though the leftover parts hang like jowls, putting the decent bits in a bit of a fix. But hey, it's easy to see what they're going for; no harm, no foul. The best cut here, and I'm sure this was unintentional, is a cover of Slayer's "Metal Storm/Face the Slayer." Coffin Dust pulls off the tribute with fantastic ability, helping to capture the black magic of the Slayer classic that still burns within its halls. However, the other tracks don't have this same level of vitality; an album ruled by a cover tune has bad news written all over it.

The record has its head on straight, but its priorities are contorted beyond justification, making an experience that feels incomplete and extraneous. The tiny songs are fine, but the longer tracks bite off way more than they can chew and end up overstuffing Coffin Dust's efforts. Add a production job that sounds horrendous, and then watch all these little nuisances snowball into a big problem. "Everything is Dead" is essentially thirty minutes of Exhumed-styled death metal enshrining a Slayer cover. Not worth it.

Coffin Dust - Everything is Dead
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