Bible Basher, a project spanning the length and breadth of the Sheffield scene, spend their debut EP snarling and snapping, lumbering ponderously but with intent. Their name suggests remorseless sledgehammer doom, but their approach is pleasingly left-of centre, representing the best of the movement from whence they came.
The EP is four tracks of dramatic, feral death-doom, a good indicator of how the genre has grown in this microcosm. Those following the Northern UK scene will note a touch of Kurokuma‘s psych-heavy thud, a bit of Under‘s penchant for unsettling auras and the blunt-force impact of Conan; the scene seems divorced from what a lot of other places in the country are doing, and all the better for having a distinct voice.
Specifically, the guitars are used as a battering ram rather than being content with pentatonic meandering; the thunderous, lugubrious riffs are focused into blasts of noise, a sheer assault. The tone is distinctly dour throughout, but there’s a lot of variation; they’re comfortable with a double bass percussive onslaught or at a steady, krautrock-esque plod. And though they shed any real frills, eschewing progressive influences or similar, the songs are diverse and chaotic.
Elsewhere there’s a fair amount of Electric Wizard influence here, though more reaching the same conclusion by different means; using the same mix of swampy sounds and creepy film samples but focused through blasts of power and noise, aware of when they’re outstaying their welcome. The biblical references are a welcome twist on the genre, a left-field approach, capturing a specific fire-and-brimstone passion that lumpen stoner doom rarely manages.
Bible Basher’s sound is uniquely Sheffield in tone, representing the best of what’s come from the scene over the past decade. Despite a short runtime, the ponderous gloom, unhinged vocals and dense textures makes Loud Wailing consistently excellent from genesis to revelation.
Loud Wailing is out now. Order here.
Words: Tom Coles