Coffins – Sinister Oath

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Japan’s death doom band Coffins returns with its sixth album “Sinister Oath” released on March 29th, 2024, through Relapse Records. Governing their sonic malevolence since 1996, the band has been crafting a swampy death-doom style through their evil blasphemy. For many years, Coffins and their countrymen Anatomia have presented a unique identity that made them the purveyors of slow and heavy sludge doom.

The pummeling old school grooves that they deliver in the opening track “(B.T.C.D.)” is a reminder of the filthy and rotten classic style of Obituary, the monstrous bass guitar and the double bass kicks you right in the gut with the crushing slab of sludge death doom riffs that make you head-bang over the loud guitar tone in the track “Spontaneous Rot” that churns out repulsive ugliness.

Although the new album sounds swampy and heavy Coffins have reduced their focus on the atmosphere on certain tracks; riffs on the album downpour like an acid rain; there is also some groove feel to the songs when the mode shifts to mid-tempo luckily this time the production enhanced the sound quality overall. The guitars offer a straight-up platter of rotten death/doom riffs and emphasis on sludge metal, which makes them sick and heavy.

The brutal chugging grooves are in your face; the creepy grunts of vocalist Jun Tokita bring the chill to your ears and with the up-tempo crust death metal; to the face-melting solos of Bungo Uchino as the hard-hitting drums of Satoshi Hikida hits you like a crowbar on your skull. The songwriting on the newest album isn’t quite as predictable, Coffins managed to pull off some great riffing on “Forced Disorder”, the up-tempo sections show more variation and the crusty guitar tone is so damned catchy.

You could feel the utter darkness and goosebumps upon hearing the crashing cymbals in the opening of “Sinister Oath”, the slow atonal doom riffs that summon an evil presence. The riffs on this track take inspiration from bands like Black Sabbath, and they flawlessly match the guttural growls, even the bass guitar of Masafumi Atake which adds textures to the slow rhythm. However, the songs are built on momentum and most importantly Coffins mastered a fine technique the tempos rev up suddenly and how they change from death/doom, to crust and chugging riffs.

Pulling their stuff out of the creepy dungeon the zombified growling in the album has a petrifying effect, while on other songs like “Chain” which seems to be inspired by Celtic Frost; the constant bludgeoning of the chugging grooves has an old-school sound.

So, we got some songs that are up-tempo and other songs where Coffins shows excessiveness in the slow death doom; the approach of the Japanese quartet is focused on creating an atmosphere that is oozing with evil, and they perfectly display their sick filthy aesthetic on “Everlasting Spiral”. Coffins have always had a primitive feel to their songs, in so many ways “Sinister Oath” takes the classic sludge approach of 90s death doom.

The expanding boundaries of the songwriting are structured flawlessly within the framework of old school death metal, albeit mid-tempo and full of disgust with the filthy raw riffs that inject some bad blood into “Things Infestation” shows the darker and more crushing facet of these Japanese doomsters.

The riffs are simple but as they bring a sinister sound to the songs, the album is full of highlight songs, and it’s hard to pick which songs are the best. The rotten sickness of the guttural growls ties an imploding outburst of insane drumming and the down-tuned fuzzing guitar; there’s something evil and otherworldly about these riffs that ooze into the song “Headless Monarch”.

The ending track “Domains of Black Miasma” has the same vibe where Coffins delivers a heavy sludge death metal, the doomy atmosphere is perfectly encapsulated midway through the track, the sinister shrieks of bassist Masafumi Atake and grunting of Jun Tokita are quite ominous, and they add something special to this song.


  • Music / Songwriting 8/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 9/10
  • Mix / Production 9/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 9/10
  • Originality 9/10

Their sixth studio album “Sinister Oath” is dark and oppressive, with this album Coffins has accomplished some of their best material in many years, and this comes highly recommended for fans of Autopsy, Asphyx, and Hooded Menace.

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