A five-year hiatus has done a lot for Cough. These Virginians have used the time between the release of 2010’s Ritual Abuse and this year’s Still They Pray to mature, for lack of a better word. Much like the scraggly, ill-formed and peach-fuzz mustached kid growing out of puberty and into manhood, the difference between then and now is striking.
Musically, these guys have sanded down the scraggly edges of their distorted dirges, rounding them with overdriven guitars that are all-encompassing, save when the bellowing riffs open up for David Cisco and Parker Chandler to deliver their pained wails and screams amid the sonic textures. The most notable growth in Cough’s sound is in the instrumentation. They have surrendered themselves to the music, riding its flow as opposed to fighting against it as they occasionally did on the Ritual Abuse. In doing so, they have unearthed a gear-shifting pace that alters the monolithic drag of both traditional doom and their previous work, best heard on the opening “Haunter of the Dark” and mid-album “Let It Bleed.”
Still They Pray is a mammoth album from true titans of doom. Five years may have felt like a long time to wait patiently for a new offering from Cough, but rest assured, it was well worth it.
Still They Pray is out June 3 on Relapse Records. Pre-order it here!
SkullsNBones Rating (Out Of 5):