The UK seems to have struck a rich vein of sour, dour, doom-infused metal recently, with excellent releases from the likes of Pasacagoula, Bloody Head and Remote Viewing all satisfying the most craven riff-lust while challenging accepted norms. Notts-spawned duo Bismuth are another such act, and their second full-length stands as a dark, dense, carefully-textured slice of morbidity that knows when to crush and when to let the horror breathe. The 30-minute title track starts so innocuously that it’s three minutes or so before you realise that something’s actually happening, the delicate vocals and shimmery ambience spreading gradually like the damp patch on your ceiling left by an undiscovered corpse sprawled on the floor of the flat above. The heaviness, when it finally strikes, comes as an almost rude surprise, with bowel-quivering bass emanations clouding the sky and cruel vocals daggering down like jagged bolts of silver lightning. Follow-up ‘Weltschmerz’ is a decidedly brisker affair and clocks in at a lean six minutes, offsetting its predecessor’s tonal explorations with the kind of churningly repetitious roil they might have learned from buddies Legion Of Andromeda. The results, all told, are rather delicious, ensuring ‘The Slow Dying Of The Great Barrier Reef’ is worth a deep dive despite the chilly waters and decidedly bleak surroundings.

Read an interview with Bismuth here.