Irish beasts Coscradh devastate psyches with glacial cataclysm on crushing ‘Nahanagan Stadial’

It’s been pretty damn hot with some violent storms here lately in my part of the United States, which hardly is ripe time to think about arctic conditions that render our land a frozen tundra. Yet here we are, with a massively heavy record named after an ice age that impacted the world about 10,000 years ago and destroyed life and impacted the Northern Hemisphere for thousands of years.

It’s harrowing subject matter to use as inspiration for your first record (especially as our climate again is ridiculously volatile), but it’s fitting Irish black/death metal band Coscradh chose that for their debut “Nahanagan Stadial,” the Irish name for that event. That’s because this album is as heavy as a glacial sheet scraping across the land, swallowing everything in its path and bringing oppressive pressure that encapsulates you into the earth forever. The band—lead vocalist/guitarist Ciarán Ó Críodáin, guitarist/vocalist Jason Keane, bassist/vocalist Hick O Aodha, drummer Boban Bubnjar—commit to that heaviness early and often, delivering five tracks and 41 minutes of devastation that feel impossible to climb out from underneath, so you might as well not even try.

Opener “Nahanagan Stadial” runs a healthy 9:44 and simmers in noise before doom drops and the vocals wretch. Guitars wail as the playing combusts, blasting savagery and spitting shrapnel. The growls begin to crackle as the aura blackens deeply, punishing cries extend, and the ferocity burns flesh from bone as everything disappears into a haze. “Feast of the Epiphany” rips open and spills guts on the floor, beastly howls land hard, and the pace absolutely crushes. The leads torch as violent howls cause reverberations, the low-end bludgeons, and then the guitar work blinds, hovering and threatening until hissing power tears everything away.

“Plagues of Knowth” explodes right away, pummeling and taking victims along with it. The pace is fast and gnarly as an animalistic assault spreads and increases the levels of danger. Riffs accelerate as the pace envelopes, absolute chaos mashes brains, and a noise cloud swallows everything whole. “Cladh Hàlainn” goes 7:19 and dawns out of another pocket of sound, and then the playing jackhammers as the insanity thickens and feels like it’s opening a gap in the earth. The guitars jangle and make your senses tingle, the tempo crumbles, and the power slams through rock, swimming into the deep sea. Closer “Feallaire Dóite” is the longest track at 11:52, staggering in and crushing in sooty murk. Shrieks rupture as the power buckles, ominous guitars blacken the skies, and the guitars catch fire, consuming all that lies before it. Lava flows, noise corrodes, and the guitars ripple out and leave ash behind.

Over these 41 minutes, Coscradh bring the freezing power and upheaval that’s hinted in the album’s title and smears that all over their doomy infestations. “Nahanagan Stadial” packs doom-encrusted black and death metal into a concoction that feels as weighty and destructive as the earth icing itself over and imprisoning everything inside. This is a devastating debut record that feels as massive as its collective parts.  

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