Wednesday 19 October 2022

Penny Coffin - ΤΕΦΡΑ/ΣΚΕΛΕΤΙΚΟΣΚΟΤΑΔΙ (Tefra/Skeletal Darkness)

Labels: Dry Cough Records

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 15 Jan 2022


1. Smog

2. Bootlicker

3. Confinement

4. Jaws

5. Skeletal Darkness

6. Finality

At the beginning of the year, UK extreme metal label Dry Cough Records released this tape featuring both the 2021 EP Tefra and early 2022 EP Skeletal Darkness from Scottish/Greek death metal band Penny Coffin. Penny Coffin formed in 2021 (or there about) but have already chalked up some serious live appearances, playing with the likes of Hellripper, (recent 20 Buck Spin signees) Slimelord and Vacivus amongst many others. Another huge addition to the ever growing Scottish death metal community!

Today’s brought all manner of strangeness, which must be to do with it being a Wednesday. Thankfully Penny Coffin bring a bit of familiar nastiness with tape opener ‘Smog’. It sounds properly old-school with downtuned riffs, foundation shaking bass, battering percussion and grim vocals that sit within it all. There’s melody and atmosphere too though, but it’s somewhat menacingly delivered. If you thought that ‘Smog’ was a harrowing blast of death metal, then really it was just easing you into proceedings as ‘Bootlicker’ wades in with a much more doom-laden approach that drags the mood down to greater depths. In doing so though, it also shows how adept Penny Coffin are at weaving their influences into their music without merely copying them. I love mournful death metal songs like this.

‘Confinement’ is the final song from the Tefra side of this tape and it’s also the longest of the initial trio, showing that Penny Coffin do doom/death just as well as any Scandinavian band can muster. It’s instrumental for a large part of it’s latter-half with the vocals once again sitting deeper within the mix. There’s a more traditional metal/thrash influence that hits you as ‘Jaws’ begins with it’s higher-pitched leads but before too long, Penny Coffin settles back into a familiar furrow, albeit with a much fuller sound. Slightly more progressive in parts too, but don’t let that scare you if you’re a death metal purist.

The second EP’s title track ‘Skeletal Darkness’ comes next, as the EP makes up the latter half of this release. Again, the melodic dual-guitars create a whirling, all-encompassing sound that whisks you into an illusion of ever-slowing extremity. Penny Coffin do such a great job of the whole slow-but-fast doom/death thing. At times, it kind of reminds me a bit of early Dry Cough band Voe when the accented lead riffs take hold at the mid-section. So good, especially alongside the higher-pitched vocals later on. There’s a heart-racing end to the release thanks to ‘Finality’, that sees Penny Coffin forging one last up-tempo blast and it’s sublime! What a way to end. 

As the nights draw ever darker and the winter of discontent looms larger, music by bands like Penny Coffin will get us through (even if there are power cuts). I know what I’ll be listening to when things go black. Best get my provisions and power banks sorted!

You can stream and purchase Tefra/Skeletal Darkness digitally via Dry Cough below, where a second run of tapes are also available (snap em up quick!):-

Penny Coffin -

Dry Cough Records -

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