Corrosive Shroud opens with a massive, distorted storm of stones and bricks as time slows to a crawl. Instantly grabbing your attention with its unique vocals and immense sound, Corrosive Shroud‘s depths insist on its audience’s focus within the first minute. Rarely does an album title—and even the sound of the band’s name—reveal so perfectly what the music contains. This is indeed a layered shroud corroding before your very eyes (ears?), again and again revealing the decay that only dissipates to reveal yet another level of corruption. “Khost” in itself sounds harsh as a name—rancor and full of disgust, like a sharp cough that spews forth putrid bile. It is at once overwhelming and demanding, yet it remains a deformed monster of an album that I cannot avert my attention from.
The unfamiliar vocals are one aspect that set Corrosive Shroud apart. They appear to be a type of singing called “gawalli,” but I am not certain about this. They are best described as some kind of chant with a Middle-Eastern flair. Everything else is heavily distorted; the vocals sound absolutely tortured and equally furious like a djinn that has escaped to wreak havoc on all that surrounds it. This is accomplished under strict control—a solid rhythm that never waivers yet always seem to be on the brink of absolute chaos. Music like this focuses on the “more is less” approach, layering noise after noise until it forces your mind to absorb it as one monstrous violent sound. Riff after riff pummels away until every synapse is shaken loose, leaving your thoughts dormant and colorless.
What sounds like a mediation bell is used in sections, enhancing the feeling of a spiritual ritual—one that is grounded in postmodern realism. Self-described as “industrial doom,” Khost brings to mind memories of bands like Dead World and Crawl, which should really come as no surprise since members of the band have worked with the one and only Justin Broadrick on projects such as Atrocity Exhibition, Smear Campaign, and Final. Also featuring guest members from Oxbow and others, it is clear that Khost is a band that has earned the respect and prestige of many.
Some moments are pure Godflesh worship, which should really come as no surprise either. While Corrosive Shroud admittedly relies just a bit too heavily on exactly that style at times, its grooves are surprisingly strong and thunderous. Its mixture of industrial metal with mystical elements creates an interesting albeit somewhat vague combination, like one of those frightening spiritual journeys that are meant to awaken one’s conscious awareness through the recognition of the fear and the horror in the world. Corrosive Shroud feels like a blanketing of wet concrete being poured around you, oppressive and relentless. If you are willing to be smothered, then Corrosive Shroud is surely for you, but be prepared for absolutely crushing devastation.
02) Revelations Vultures Jackals Wolves
03) Black Rope Hell
04) A Shadow on the Wound
07) Red Spot
10) Avici, Hostage Remix