It may have taken me a bit longer than I had hoped but I finally got my hands on a copy of Maveth’s debut full length release, “Coils of the Black Earth.” The CD was released at the tail end of 2012 with a vinyl release trailing just a few months behind it (February to be exact). There is a certain ferocity that I expect to hear in Death Metal that is unfortunately becoming a lost art. In an age saturated with so many bands that are content with mediocrity Maveth tower above so many others like titans.
Maveth constantly flirts with the line between Black and Death metal, a line which is growing increasingly more obscure and less relevant as of late. “Coils of the Black Earth” is a more than successful amalgam of the two sub genres that are responsible for creating some of the most confrontational and foreboding atmospheres within any kind of music. I’ll say it once for the record, atmosphere is everything!!
The opening track, “The Devourer Within the Gulf” begins with an excellent intro consisting of thunder, heavy rain and chanting to what I interpreted as nothing short of the most powerful Draconic invocation. From there the album begins to lash like an angry sea serpent finally freed from bondage and begins showcasing guitar riffs that rip with unparalleled ferocity and drums that crash like tidal waves. “Dragon of the Continuum” further reveals the maturation of Maveth and demonstrates what Black and Death metal is still capable of. The album can only be described as immense. I could sit and drone on and on about geographic lines, where Maveth is from, where they might move in the next four years and elaborate how “this” country’s death metal sounds versus “that” country’s sound. All of these things are of little importance in the grand scope of this album. The only thing that matters is the finished product and the effort that went into creating it. That being said, for those so inclined to put things into categories I think Maveth definitely leans more towards death metal than black. And as for their “geographical” sound I’d say that it’s a blend of Finnish and American death metal. As I said before though, none of this matters whatsoever once the needle drops and the first chords are struck. Expect nothing but sheer terror and noxious, suffocating death metal.
The cover artwork was provided by none other than the talented Daniel Desecrator. Boasting an abomination riding upon the back of a coiled serpent which seems to stretch into endless oblivion with a mountain of skulls in the background. The art (as all of D. Desecrator’s art does) sets an ominous tone while listening to the record and gives a certain scope to the album’s overall intent. “Coils of the Black Earth” makes me feel small in the face of what is being presented. I feel like everything that is crafted is done so to appeal to untamable forces far beyond the control of humans. In a sense the album produces the atmospheric equivalent to that of a raging, unforgiving, and uncontrollable sea. The record needs to be experienced in its entirety by any and all supporters of the genre. That means owning this in a physical format of some sort. Those that do not full absorb the artwork while listening to the album while likely not experience the totality of album.
“Coils of the Black Earth” clocks in at just shy of an hour in length so it feels like a legitimate full length. 35 minute albums seem to be the norm as of late and while there’s nothing wrong with this it always leaves you wanting more. “Coils of the Black Earth” satiates the listener and leaves almost nothing more to be desired with the exception of follow up material. This is one of those rare albums that I would say is a step forward for the genre as a whole and sets a new bar for Death Metal.