Album Review: Coltsblood – Ascending

By Ryan Falla

Hailing from Liverpool, Coltsblood looks to take extreme doom metal and drag it even further into an abyss not yet explored. However, is this abyss worth exploring?

As a massive fan of the doom genre, especially the extreme side featuring bands such as Bongripper and Ohm, I have to say that even this album is a bit of a chore to listen to. Coltsblood takes the heart of extreme doom metal, the absolutely crushing brutality that gives merit to snails pace tempo, and replaces it with a double-down on the slow, crawl speed of the record. Everything seems to be done at face value; yes the riffs are heavy and the drums brutally roll through the music like a tank in Tiananmen Square, but there’s just no substance to the music.

As you kick off the record with the title track, you’re introduced to some seriously heavy doom that provides a fantastic jumping point for the record; at least in the first couple of minutes of the track. It becomes apparent not even a tenth of the way through the first track that what you’re hearing is what you’re going to get for the rest of the record.

It doesn’t help that the music offers little to zero foundation to give merit to the snails pace of the record, instead of feeling as if the riffage is slowly oozing down your throat it feels more as if you’ve hitched a ride on the back of a slug to go particularly nowhere.

There’s very little direction within this record aside from the over-saturation of slow, oozy riffs; and that hurts the record in the most painful way. Instead of offering an experience, you’re introduced to a chore.

Coltsblood attempts to offer an insight into what makes extreme doom metal so attractive, but instead only succeeds in delivering an album that strips the genre of its merits. There is no depth to what is happening and it feels like an incredibly disjointed effort between the musicians in the band. There is no central musical anchor to bring the efforts of the musicians together, this record lacks such depth that each musician sounds as if they’re playing on an entirely different universe than the rest of the band. Yes, what they do does match musically, yet the lack of adhesion gives this record the feeling of musicians playing next to each other than with each other.

After all is said and done, there has been nothing really gained from this record except the insight as to why great doom/stoner exists on the level it does. ‘Ascending’ cleanses the palette in the sense that it mucks the taste buds with a poor impression of stoner metal, allowing you to re-experience your favorite stoner metal bands with greater appreciation.

Rating: 5/10

If you like what you’ve read/seen, buy a shirt and help keep Metal Assault running full time!

If you live in the LA area, come to one of our Metal Assault Nights at the Viper Room!

Record Label: Candlelight/Spinefarm
Release Date: April 14th 2017

Track Listing:
1. Ascending Into Shimmering Darkness (13:01)
2. Mortal Wound (6:35)
3. The Legend Of Abhartach (7:55)
4. Ever Decreasing Circles (12:19)
5. The Final Winter (12:57)

Total Duration: 52:47

Coltsblood links: facebook | twitter