by Robert Bell
Back in nineteen eighty-whatever, when St. Vitus was confusing punk rockers and Bobby Liebling was still freebasing in his mom's basement, hearing a new doom metal band usually meant shelling out some considerable dough for a Witchfinder General import.
But over the last couple of decades, the seeds of Black Sabbath have blossomed into thousands of ugly, fetid weeds — sub-genres and sub-sub-genres. Doom metal is now fully its own thing, so much so that it can be difficult to stand out. But Richmond, Va., band Cough is one that does. The group traffics in oppressive sludge doom, like a less bluesy Eyehategod, or maybe a scarier Corrupted, but with some classic doom riffage throughout.
The band's 2010 album, "Ritual Abuse," was produced by Sanford Parker (who also recorded Rwake's "Voices of Omens" and "Rest") and it sounds incredible — the punishingly slow riffs shot through with wave after wave of crashing cymbals and pounding drums and swirling vocals that are split between singing and inhuman black metal shrieking. This band should be sick live.
Opening acts are Black Orchid and Sol Inertia.