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Ritual Suicide
Cough // Windhand – Reflection of the Negative

Reflection of the Negative - CoverThere’s something about Richmond, Virginia that seems to result in the bands that are born there being, more often than not, pretty damn excellent. Cough and Windhand are certainly no exception to this rule and this split sees their different takes on filthy, droned out doom take on new dimensions of deadly corruption.

Reflections of the Negative showcases these two bands at their absolute most dangerous. Whilst they both sit within the realm of doom, Cough and Windhand are divided by structures and ritualistic vibrations. Cough delve deeply into the ceremonial aspect of the genre whilst Windhand are more traditionally inclined with their smoky acknowledgement of the greats.


Cough - Band

Cough’s side of this split is a one track, eighteen minute hypnotic ritual of sacrifice and “Athame” flows with a funereal dirge and a momentous weight. Cough have always found the very darkest side of doom to be their home and with this being their first music since 2010’s incredible Ritual Abuse and their split with the UK’s The Wounded Kings (An Introduction to the Black Arts) from the same year, it’s been a gravely long wait to hear anything from this quartet.

“Athame” is disturbingly shadowy in it’s progression from the warm tones of it’s beginning to the all-out invocated nightmare that is the second half of this track. Switching from huge and monstrous landscapes of sound, Cough strip it back just a tad so that Parker Chandler’s vocal line is suddenly at the forefront of the song (usually his vocal sits a tiny bit away from the instrumentation, giving Cough that esoteric intensity that has led them to where they are today) and there’s a deep sense of something quite lethal having been summoned by the time the closing strains of “Athame” envelops you in clouds of opaque feedback and wonderful passages of uneasy resonance. Intoxicating.


Windhand Press Pic

Windhand offer two new tracks here, “Amaranth” and “Shepherd’s Crook” and if you were excited about their debut from last year – and why the heck wouldn’t you be? – then these two compositions are right up your street. Sly nods to genre peers and legends are aplenty, but Windhand are not the kind of band to let lethargy suck them in and the songs here are gorgeously winding, tripped out odes to hazy days of lore. The pace of “Amaranth” is meandering and Dorthia Cottrell’s voice is tantalising in it’s richness; twisting and sliding between deep crunches of bass and the occasional rising guitar solo, mesmerising with sweet melody despite the fact that the vocal lines seem very low down in the mix. Of course, that only adds to the eerie atmosphere and gives Windhand that little something over the sudden boom of trad doom bands that has happened recently.

“Shepherd’s Crook” is a little more harmonious than the previous track and Cottrell’s voice often catches you out with graceful phrases of soaring beauty that are somehow in discordant synchronization with the heavy tones that are always on the brink of overwhelming the song. Being Windhand though, this feeling of being juuuuuuuuuuuust about to tip over the edge never comes to fruition, but it’s there….at the back of your mind and this threatening aspect of the band is extraordinarily rendered by the quintet. Breathtaking.

Reflection of the Negative will be released via Relapse Records and can be pre-ordered here!

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