Saturday, February 5, 2011

I'M IN A COFFIN "ONE FINAL ACTION" (Self Mutilation Services)

This is a weird one. I'm not sure whether to take this seriously or not because everything about it seems falsified, blown up for maximum illustration and beating you over the head with its obviousness. This is suicidal black metal in every regard, and it's a perfect example of bedroom black metal, but it's also very hard not to look at this as a joke played on the genre because I'm In A Coffin are so over the top and embody every cliche that i'm left wondering if there's anything really here.
The music is certainly appropriate to the style. It's dirging, mournfully melodic, incredibly lo-fi and weaves an atmosphere of extreme depression around itself. It's very blown out, particularly the bass, which more often than not becomes the lead instrument on these songs, leading the rest of the composition down its twisting tar-drenched path to sublimation. The vocals too are given over to howling extremities, bearing all the hallmarks-banshee wails, sections of weeping and sobbing, otherworldy screams from far distant places-yet i just get the feeling this isn't meant to be received in any serious sort of way.
Mostly it's the lyrics. They're just too insipidly stupid, blunt and prominent for me to think they're anything other than some guy who knows this music taking the piss out of it for fun. No matter how depressed you were, i think you'd be just a tad more poetic in conveying your sorrows. Here are a few examples: "i stand at the edge and weep...until i'm wrist deep in depression," "my only companions are mourning and self-hatred, my lover misery," "i must die today, tonight i will be gone, alone and dead," "i want to die alone and cold." And on it goes. The best projects working in this subgenre wrap the feelings up in something a little cloudier, leaving room for both empathy and interpretation. The shit here is something a fifteen year old would write, and given the relative maturity with which the music is executed i see something a little more tongue in cheek going on with I'm In A Coffin.
The record is also put out by Self Mutilation Services, a difficult label upon which to affix any sort of ideological intent. Everything they release straddles the line between grimly serious and ridiculously comical, embracing both suicide and self-parody in equal measure. I'm In A Coffin exists as a perfect illustration of that dichotomy, exuding something equally repellent and attractive. So do i like this? The easy answer is yes. Even though it forces me to look at the absurdity of the genre and therefore devalues previous contributions by other artists through able mimicry, i enjoy the actual sounds the band has vomited out. There's something eerie here, as though perhaps by so fully immersing themselves in the genre I'm In A Coffin can't help but take on some of the more subliminal characteristics of suicidal black metal. They're familiar with it, most certainly, and the samples they use to punctuate the admittedly obvious themes of the work are well chosen and at times a little flesh-crawling. It's a creepy ambience, and i think anyone deeply into suicidal BM needs to at least here this record to make their own assessment of it. Whatever else it is, it's a challenge and it's thought-provoking-both qualities missing from a lot of music, regardless of genre. Recommended.

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