David Cisco – Parker Chandler – Joseph Arcaro




” 9.0 / 10

The liner notes for Sigillum Luciferi are emblazoned with the phase “tune down, smoke up,” which really ought to be the motto for any self-respecting stoner/doom/sludge band. Cough definitely fits that sound to a “t,” and the packaging of the album, adorned with naked chicks, occult symbols, and pot leaves, does as well.

But how does Cough stack up with all the other bands of a similar ilk? I’d place them right at the top of the Sabbath-worshiping heap, along with Electric Wizard and Sleep. Sigillum Luciferi has a sound as dense and psyched-out as Electric Wizard’s magnum opus Dopethrone, but with more feedback and more sinister vocals, while bringing more of a sludge influence to the table (a la Eyehategod) and an all-around ominous, uncomfortable atmosphere.

There’s nothing too unique going on here, but the production and riffs more than make up for it. This is one of those examples of stoner/doom being done right. Cough produces a surprisingly dense sound for a trio.The guitar and bass sound on this album is an infinitely meaty slab of square-wave bliss, but not to the extent where chords are indistinguishable from one another; the ultimate sludgy tone has a certain degree of clarity despite all the fuzz. The only album that really rivals this one in its production is the aforementioned Dopethrone. The drums are placed at just the right level in the mix and are just as vital to the wicked grooves as the guitars. The vocals range from Khanate-worthy screams to soaring yelps, bathed in a deep, echoey ambiance.

Clocking in at nearly an hour and comprised of only six tracks, Sigillum Luciferi makes use of one of my favorite musical formats: the extended psychedelic jam. There is a bit of repetitous filler, but most of the material is quality handbang-worthy goodness. The standout tracks here are “288 Years of Sin” and “Shallow Grave” because the grooves are simply untouchable. And therein lies a near-perfect synthesis of the warm and fuzzy stoner elements of the doom genre, and the ugly, blackened side of the genre.

This album proves that the almighty riff still reigns supreme and reassures us that there are still bands pushing the power chord to its slowest, heaviest, most cannabis-fueled extremes. Sigillum Luciferi is a pretty killer first full-length for the band and easily stands up to the title of “Lucifer’s Sigil.” ” – Tyler // Scene Point Blank

“Cough is the name of a Richmond band that plays monstrously slow doom with a groove. Sigillum Luciferi is a blunt force sludge covered behemoth in the proud tradition of Eyehategod and Electric Wizard. Cough’s got nothing new on the genre, but what they do, they do effectively enough that it doesn’t matter. The riffs are good and memorable. Eyehategod toyed with faster songs at times, but Cough keeps it slow throughout. Now that doom has largely moved on to artier pastures it’s nice to hear something raw and dirty like this, more at home in the welfare line then the art gallery. A good kick in the south.”   – Maximum RocknRoll (Dave Don’t Try)

“Despite the pentagrams, upside-down cross, and many-pointed stars, this is not black metal. The pot leaves are more indicative: sludge/doom cut straight from the Eyehategod cloth. Sigillum Luciferi (Forcefield, 2008) is the full-length debut from Cough, who have this schtick down cold: monolithic riffs, agonized screams, gear set in “first.” Occasionally the Richmond, VA trio trudges into bluesy swing à la Electric Wizard. The formula isn’t original, but the execution is killing. Much to credit is Sanford Parker’s recording. Guitars sit fat and heavy (one player uses a custom Matamp), edges hang out all over the place, and drums cut meat with big knives, slowly. This music doesn’t depend on choice of notes so much as how they’re played and how they sound. Cough is perfect on both scores.” Cosmo Lee //


dates available on band’s myspace