February 21, 2012 | , | 3.5

Encoffination, O'Hell, Shine in Thy Whited Sepulchres

Encoffination: O’Hell, Shine in Thy Whited Sepulchres

Ever wondered what it would be like to be buried alive? To hear the dull thud of earth as it hits the outside of your casket, shovelful by shovelful, slowly encasing you six feet below the living. To feel the slow process of decomposition invade first your mind and then your flesh. If that event were to ever have a musical score to accompany it, Encoffination’s O’Hell, Shine in Thy Whited Sepulchres would surely fit the bill.

Suffocating and immersive, the funeral doom death metal hybrid that is Encoffination crawls and lurches at the speed rot. The guitars are cold and distant as the drums slowly bludgeon you deeper into your velvet lined coffin. Vocally, the growls are low, guttural and sounds like Ghoat (guitarist,bassist, vocalist) is gargling magots that have already eaten through his tongue and throat. This shit is dense and vile.

Go ahead and skip the first track as the sound clip intro does little for the album. “Sacrum Profanum Processionali” is filled with an atmosphere of decay where darkness slowly engulfs your bodily form and pulls you deep into its inevitable grasp of finality. Cold, distorted guitars and a glacially paced rhythm dominate the song as we slowly progress to the more active “Rites of Ceremonial Embalm’ment.” Livelier drumming and a more driving guitar presence don’t take away from the feeling of inevitability within this song’s confines — instead adding another layer to an album that can at times become tedious and one-dimensional, as with just about any album within this genre.

“Elegant In Their Funebrial Cloaks, Arisen” couldn’t have been timed any better within the album. At this point, the foreboding nature of having to listing to the remaining desolate drone of slow riffs and sloth-like rhythms was just about unbearable. Thankfully, a healthy dose manic drumming arrives nearly two minutes in to give a little bit of vitality to the album. The organ/keyboards on “Ritual Until Blood” give a brief bit of melody to the suffocating tones as “Washed and Buried,” I can only imagine, comes right from Ghoat’s experience in his full-time job in a funeral home. There’s nothing like a little real-life experience to really bring an album home.

The ten minute closer “Annunciation of the Viscera” typifies what this album is all about. This isn’t going to be an album that you throw on any day of the week. No. O’Hell, Shine in Thy Whited Sepulchres is an album that is needed only on very specific occasions, something that you may need for a little catharsis or, you know, to scare the living shit out of your better half or in-laws.