Posted on by Oran

Cork sludge merchants Coroza put boot to ass for their sophomore, ‘As Within’ – a filthy groove-filled wonder that has the heart pounding from the very beginning.

The doom harbingers have really done their homework here, and dive headfirst into the pit for their sophomore LP, and it’s an absolute banger!

Due for release on May 20th via the excellent, Cursed Monk Records, the album takes on  a life of its own, and the lads deserve outstanding credit for putting together one of the best albums of the year so far.

Starting off slow and deadly, ‘Myrrh’ chugs along in a foreboding manner until the vocals break in from guitarists Jack O’Neill and Ciarán Coghlan. The axe-wielding duo share vocal duties, and its hard to tell them apart; they have their sound so in sync, they are virtual doubles of each other.

Bassist, Tomás O’Brien has a major part to play in this thick-sounding sludge fest, as does drummer Oliver Cunnigham. ‘Myrrh’ creeps past the 9-minute mark and the mood never wavers; not once.

It’s a song you just want to close your eyes to and drift away to… imagine a comfy chair and nobody in your place, only you and this song playing. ‘Chill af’, as the kids say… only it’s not chill – it’s pure fury. ‘Immersed’ takes the pace up a notch (or 3), from the get-go. Cunningham’s drumming assaults the senses, pulling in tandem guitars and O’Brien’s impressive bass-handling. After the initial onslaught, the song slows to a sombre mood, like a lull of a wave right before it crashed against the rock – you’re waiting for it, and when it comes, it’s like a brick to the face just before the 4-minute mark.

There is impressive riffage from Coghlan and O’Neill in ‘Immersed’ and ‘Shifting Sands’; the latter allowing the guys to really showcase what they can do. This is more relaxed, but the harmonies glide off each other perfectly in a slow cooker of groove, all the while kept in pace by Cunningham.

However, the eeriness of this tranquillity is soon shattered by ‘Scorched Earth’, because THIS bad boy cracks open the skull unlike any other song on the album. O’Neill and Coghlan drift in between harsh and soft lyrics, displaying a dynamic flexibility reserved previously for the likes of Mastodon or Gojira et al., but nonetheless, Coroza pull this off with relative ease.

This is faster and heavier than the others on the album so far, and has a more familiar rhythm beat to it, allowing a glorious outpouring of chest-thumping heavy metal goodness.

The pace grows faster and faster, until it erupts in a frenzy of drum beats and guitar madness that really lets you have it. The last track is the title number ‘As Within’, which seals the deal – this is another solid number that allows the band to really show the influences that they have so obviously absorbed in their time onstage and in rehearsal (and dare I say it, when they picked up an instrument at the very beginning!).

There are elements of stoner desert rock, blues, prog and death metal all blended into a brutal mix that only clarifies the point that each band member is more than capable of matching anyone in the underground metal scene at the moment.

This is a magnificent sophomore LP, and the amount of work that went into it is obvious. From the multitude of riffs, the screaming vocals, transfixing drum sections and punishing bass work, ‘As Within’ is a triumphant declaration from Coroza that there is much more to expect from this band… and I can’t wait to hear it.  4/5

Pre-order your copy via this link.

Track of Choice: ‘Scorched Earth

Words – Shaun Martin 2024