One of the most enjoyable things about the recent uptick in UK death metal has been how different and diverse the bands have been: each act sharing basic genetic material, but mutating in all manner of foul and horrific ways.
Scotland’s Penny Coffin are a perfect case in point, their latest EP having sticky-edged OSDM at its piss-filled heart but winding in a range of other, unexpected influences. For all the brutality, see, there’s also a grand sense of atmosphere. Melodies creep and stretch like brambles across untended graves, eventually forming dense, cruel thickets that seem all but inescapable. There’s also something weirdly mechanical working away amid the vegetal slurry: a grinding chunter that wouldn’t feel out of place on a Godflesh album, or maybe even an early Meshuggah effort. All of this has been expertly interwoven with mad, scrabbling solos, looming dissonance and as keen a grasp on crushing riffmanship as you could possibly hope for.
Running at around 25 minutes (a shade longer if you pick up the vinyl, which has an additional track) ‘Conscripted Morality’ feels extremely complete: a well-rounded piece of work that’s equal parts vile and vital. Fingers crossed that an album’s on the way, because 40 minutes or so of this stuff would truly be something to contend with.