The Wounded Kings [UK] / Cough [US]
An Introduction to the Black Arts
Cough led the first half of the split, beginning tremulously with orchestral hits and lengthy ringing guitar chords and feedbacking, setting the atmosphere of what was to come. The listener might lose a little bit of patience though, as the intro was of considerable length, even by doom standards, before coming to some actual guitar riffing. However the droning eventually gave way to some midtempo crushing guitars, with the mad howling of the vocalist. The vocals practically sounded like tortured ghouls in a deep pit, adding some black-metallish kind of element to the funeral monolith of guitars. Listeners might find themselves descending into the despair of the Gates of Madness. The vocalist’s singing portions added a new dimension to the song, coupled with wah-wah solos, giving a very Electric Wizard-ish kind of vibe to the song. However, midway through the song, ideas did seem to fall a little short, increasing the repetitiveness, before the coda to the intro draws the song to a close.
The Wounded Kings kicked off the second part of the split with their dirge, Curse of Chains. Starting off with a lengthy buildup in the mood, one can detect the essence of old school doom in the thick riffs and song structure, slowed down to an almost funeral doom pace, lasting almost 6 mins. The heavy downtuned plodding gave way to the vocalist’s very verby and drowsy vocals. The vocalist possesses a very distinct timbre in his singing, managing to sound very psychedelic and yet doom-laden. Another lengthy interlude intervened, led by soft synths and hypnotic guitar riffs before ending with vocals interspersed with the trem picking of the lead guitar before landing the listener softly with a few tinklings of the piano. The bleakness of the track could not be understated, with excellent doom atmospherics. It is practically a textbook example of an introduction to doom metal.
This split should prove to be a worthwhile listen to fans of slow doom and sludge, definitely doesn’t disappoint.
The Wounded Kings on the internet: