In advance of its release, today Noisey is streaming Still They Pray in full alongside an interview with guitarist David Cisco, “With such demand after all this time, COUGH could have easily churned out something lumbering and dense and still appeased the masses well enough,” the esteemed blog points out. “Instead of taking the easy route, though, COUGH‘s ambition takes flight; songs like the familiarly venomous ‘Possession’ are counterbalanced by the sun-scorched and weary melancholy of ‘Let it Bleed,’ which could almost be called a ballad if it didn’t dissolve into something so gnarly by its filthy end. The balance of hefty doom and bloody rock makes this album feel like a tug-of-war between the dismal low of opiates and the painful highs of psychedelics gone terribly wrong.”
Hear Still They Pray at THIS LOCATION.
Still They Pray is set for release via Relapse Records on CD, 2xLP, and digitally June 3rd. Physical preorders and bundle deals are available via Relapse.com HERE, and digital copies can be preordered through COUGH‘s Bandcamp page at THIS LOCATION.
Reaping widespread praise from critics, Stereogum hails, “Still They Pray…makes a strong case for [COUGH] as the best straight-ahead stoner sludge band in the game today.” Metal Wani concurs. “Through some form of brooding wizardry, COUGH have pushed the trudge of their sludge even further in their latest epic aural pilgrimage…,” while Metal Riot warns, “You could very quickly tune in and drop way the fuck out off the grid with this album and never be seen again. It’s doubtful many other records this year… will get into such a sweet, doomed groove…” Heavy Blog Is Heavy hails COUGH‘s knack for, “titanic guitar chords and tripped-out textures.” Adds PureGrainAudio, “Songs such as ‘The Wounding Hours’ with its constant drone organ help to set the album’s moody tone. ‘Haunter Of The Dark’ has some of the thickest distortion I’ve ever heard recorded and it doesn’t let up. The title track, and eventual requiem, with its haunting acoustic melody, closes the book on an album that can arguably be in the mix for Doom Recording Of The Year.”
COUGH will play a special record release show this Friday in Richmond with additional live abrasions to be announced soon.
6/03/2016 Hardywood Park Craft Brewery – Richmond, VA w/ Tasha Yar, Forest Of Legend
Conceived in the fertile metal underground of Richmond, Virginia circa 2005, COUGH has sought to be the heaviest band ever since their inception. The band takes inspiration from the most savage aspects of extreme music, from crushing doom metal and grimy sludge to early black metal. After the independent 2007 release of their first EP, The Kingdom, COUGH quickly put out their first proper full-length, Sigillum Luciferi (Forcefield Records, 2008), an ugly, agonizing set of misanthropy set to music. Slight bits of psychedelia wormed into the massive riffs and wove their way throughout the band’s inhuman screams, making the record one of the most impressive pieces of doom metal to emerge from North America in quite some time.
Between hospital visits and bouts of near-insanity, COUGH slowly labored forward with the writing of their follow-up, and first for Relapse Records. Aptly-titled Ritual Abuse, the record delivered thoroughly massive, psychedelic doom via five epic tracks of impenetrable walls of sludge. Ritual Abuse caught the attention of publications including Stereogum, Metal Injection, Decibel Magazine, and more, and was widely hailed as one of the finest moments of twenty-first-century doom metal.
And now, after a five-year hiatus, COUGH returns with their latest offering Still They Pray. Still They Pray is easily COUGH at their most focused: pessimistic riffs and tortured grooves collide in melodic agony alongside a hallucinogenic blend of harsh and clean incantations, crushing and cathartic yet utterly mesmerizing. Step through the gates of madness and stare into the void. Just like the sleeping shoggoths of R’lyeh, sometimes the beast lies but it never dies.
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