This September, coffins will shake and graves shall release their dead
Darkness is falling. A cold wind blows from the snow-covered Carpathians, making the windows rattle and the corners of the house creak. Something is coming, eyes flashing red in the night and its footprints filled with grave dirt. What nocturnal terror is this? Why, it’s the arrival of the long-awaited third album by The Coffinshakers, folks.
While most bands quickly lose the spark, The Coffinshakers have stayed relevant – eternal like the undead. Though humor is their hallmark, there is also poignancy and something genuinely spine-tingling in their rugged, melancholy ballads. And this new offering shows them at the height of their baleful, campy power. They truly are a band that ages like fine wine – although vampires, of course, never drink… wine.
Much will be familiar to dedicated fans. Rob’s trademark malevolent chuckles still reverberate with sardonic glee, the deep rumble of his voice continuing to send all yellow-bellies hiding behind the barn. At the same time, his vocals have gained in both power and subtleness. The same goes for the guitar, bass, and drum work, now incorporating a broader array of classic Americana influences. These unholy badmen have drunk the blood straight from the neck of the authentic country, bluegrass, folk and other rootsy music of inbred US backwaters – and it has made their fangs sharper than ever.
And though The Coffinshakers still ride forth with tongue firmly planted in cheek, there is a new apocalyptic urgency to their third offering. From the marching drums of the desolate “Graves, Release Your Dead” to the echoing vocals of “River of Souls” and the cathartic cataclysm of “Down in Flames”, it all forebodes the imminent end of the whole dirty enchilada of existence. The band’s flippancy comes with a genuinely unsettling kernel of darkness – and black humor is always the most satisfying. Vampires may not cry, but we all know they laugh wickedly as they rise from the bone orchard.
- Per Faxneld, Södertörn University department of religion and vampirism, author of Satanic Feminism, Offerträdet, The Devils Party and others
The Coffinshakers' past nocturnal glories include the debut album "We Are The Undead" (1998) and the eponymous sophomore record (2007), after which the cadaverous quartet retreated to the silence of the tomb, having vacated their respective coffins only sporadically when invoked to perform undead rituals in front of a live audience. Now, many moons since they last haunted the earthly domain, the hour has come for another foray into the realm of the living. Yet again the dead shall live, the living die, and Musick shall untune the sky.
Svart Records will release Graves, Release Your Dead by The Coffinshakers on September 15th on long playing vinyl, compact disc and digital formats, including an exclusive variant with a 3D cover.