Church of Destiny - Black Smoke Eats Out (2020)
Following up on their debut album from last year, the Bulgaria-based Church of Destiny have resurfaced with this five-track EP, delivering a quick shot of dirty sludge on the lo-fi side. Launching off with the muddy thrashing of “Fixation”, the band wallows about in low-end reverb, growling vocals, and hard-beaten percussion, rolling it together in coat of rough production that fits the attitude on display.
After that pleasant introduction, it's on into “Ghetto Hope”, which brings a bit of rolling rhythm to the beats, building the tune up over its run into something that glides along on heavy bass hum, before breaking back into the rougher handling. Despite some odd structuring, it's one of the hookiest riffs on the EP. A spoken-word sample (an extended cut of one used on Meth Drinker's OIL album) leads into “Shooting Whores”, which bumps along on more of a guitar-riven crunch. Bass breakdowns give it some grounding in the heavier end, though, which makes for an effective balancing.
The last two tracks run in quick succession, adding up to about five and a half minutes between them. First of the closers is “Numbing Dose”, which drops in a druggy sample to set the tone before launching into a punchy up-and-down rhythm, and “A.C.A.B.” leans hard into the punk side of sludge's roots, bashing out a down-tuned blast of hardcore antagonism. Though the production can be kind of ragged at times, it does show off the band's authenticity in a way, and sludge is something that's never benefited from being too clean, anyway. Those looking for some under-the-radar metal, give it a go.
For Fans Of; Hypnochron, Lifeless Gaze, Mudbath, O.D.R.A., Zeppheroin