Beldam emerged from the murky waters of the sludge pool with 2016’s Still the Wretched Linger, an album that drew comparison to bands such as Eyehategod and High On Fire. With new lead singer Randall Guidry in tow and now making their home base in Seattle, they are back with their second album on Horror Pain Gore Death Productions entitled Pasung.
The doom and despair from their debut carries over to Pasung. Guidry contrasts deep, thundering vocals along with a high and wailing black metal style on the lead track “Vial of Silence.” The heaviness of this track makes it an ideal album opener, and sets the tone for what is to follow. “Sunken Sorceress” begins with Guidry singing in a raspy, demonic tone accompanied by a gloomy melody before the fuzzy guitars and booming vocals come in with all the subtlety of a right hook to the chin. Not the best track on the album, but it’s still worthy of inclusion. “Shed The Coil” continues with the heaviness and mixes in some tempo changes for good measure. There is a lot going on musically in this track, including some excellent guitar work. and I still hear something new with each listen.
“One From The Stable” is the longest of the six tracks, coming in at just over 11 minutes. Beldam take the listener through a torturous assault on the senses, as some of the rhythms plod along like an elephant walking through concrete while others are just a step below the quicker tempos of “Coil.” “Carrion Feast” is the second to last track, and it kept playing over and over in my head long after I had stopped listening. The aggressive drumming is like a hammer to the skull – punishing and relentless. Pasung concludes with “That Which Consumes You,” a nine-and-a-half minute track that ends the album well. An opening riff reminiscent of early Black Sabbath backed up with reverb and guttural vocals is eventually engulfed by the doom and gloom that has come to define Bedlam‘s sound.
Don’t be afraid to jump in the deep end of the sludge pool with Pasung. There’s plenty of room, and the water’s fine!
Pasung is out January 26 on Horror Pain Gore Death Productions. Buy it here!