Cough - Ritual Abuse
Doom is a tricky old genre: very simple to play yet damn difficult to excel in, it is all too easy for bands to slip into some sort of Sabbath-worshipping groove that is both derivative and drags on inexorably into painful tedium. Unfortunately, Cough are one band that find themselves just on the wrong side of this divide with new album Ritual Abuse. Yes, it is very heavy and yes, it is very groovy, but there’s no substance to the finished product, nothing that makes you sit up and take notice. The opening pair of ‘Mind Collapse’ and ‘A Year In Suffering’ drag on for over eleven minutes each without a single memorable riff to share between them, purely a string of slow, belly-rumbling chords stretching on and on and on and on... Ritual Abuse has moments of interest but by the time the title track brings it all to a close, the will-sapping ordinariness of the rest has long since banished any real sense of positivity.