Have you ever had a song grab you by the neck and define a moment in your life? Well, it has happened to me on several previous occasions and once again, recently, when I first listened to Cough’s Still They Pray.
It was early evening and I was driving on Interstate 10 towards Phoenix. The winds were tossing waves of dirt across the sun bleached, two-lane highway. At that point, the song “Shadow of the Torturer” had just kicked in. As I’m enjoying my view of the Arizonan Sun setting forefront of the purple and orange bands draping over the mountainous Sonoran landscape, I’m thrust into a trancelike state while listening to the track’s haunting beginning. As I approach several 18 wheelers in front of me, I notice that these jerkoffs are jockeying for position, slithering back and forth like giant sidewinders due to the increasing ferocity of the sand-soaked winds. I start clenching the steering wheel in anger and dropping f-bombs that would make Sam Kinison proud. Finally, a passing lane opens up and I gun it. It’s at this exact same time the wall of distorted guitars kick in, bludgeoning everything up to that point. It timed out perfectly with my ire-ridden, pedal-to-the-metal maneuver. This will undoubtedly be a moment forever etched in my memory.
Virginia-based doomsters, Cough, are back and in the most fuzzed-out, feedback frenzied way. I’ll cut to the chase…If you like to be bludgeoned via waves and waves of doom, get this album. The word “heavy” doesn’t even come close to describing how aurally devastating Still They Pray really is. Produced by Electric Wizard’s Jus Oborn and recorded by Oborn and Windhand’s Garrett Morris, this is called a “doomgasm”, folks. No better way to put it. You can hear Electric Wizard and Windhand all over this thing, but who fucking cares? The results are the same, total “doomstruction”.
Still They Pray consists of 8 tracks and is over an hour long; after waiting for over five years, their hardcore fans will really appreciate this. Songs such as “The Wounding Hours” with its constant drone organ help to set the album’s moody tone. “Haunter of the Dark” has some of the thickest distortion I’ve ever heard recorded and it doesn’t let up. The title track, and eventual requiem, with its haunting acoustic melody, closes the book on an album that can arguably be in the mix for doom recording of the year. Cough will celebrate the release of their masterpiece on June 3rd in Richmond, VA at Hardywood Craft Brewery.
Still They Pray Track Listing:
01. Haunter of the Dark
03. Dead Among the Roses
04. Masters of Torture
05. Let it Bleed
06. Shadow of the Torturer
07. The Wounding Hours
08. Still They Pray
Run Time: 1:07:51
Release Date: June 3, 2016
Check out the track “Dead Among the Roses”