Full Of Hell

Trumpeting Ecstasy

Written by: MIN on 31/05/2017 11:33:52

If you’ve been following American grind/death (pick any extreme tag) band Full of Hell the last few years, chances are that they will have puzzled and excited you as much as me. It’s been about four years since Full of Hell released an LP of their own (the excellent “Rudiments of Mutilation”) due to their work with several other artists. Full-length records with both The Body and Merzbow prove that Full of Hell haven’t stayed idle — in fact, the band has been evolving. The noise-elements heard on “Rudiments of Mutilation” opened up a sound that lead the band into their Merzbow- and The Body-collaborations, where they thrived for a while. Fast-forward to 2016 and you suddenly found Full of Hell releasing a split with Oxnard-based grindcore outfit Nails, which saw Full of Hell returning to their primal form, just as volatile and vital as ever. And the band’s newest album, “Trumpeting Ecstasy”, sees the four-piece take on a sound that’s not unfamiliar, but definitely more oriented towards the death metal that’s always been lurking beneath the surface.

Occasionally, Full of Hell even borders on black metal. Filled with tremolo-effects and raging d-beats, “Gnawed Flesh” kicks off relentlessly before slowing down for a full-on death metal break. As the pace gets slower, vocalist Dylan Walker takes turns performing either dreadful shrieks or almost SUMAC-like bellows, as he ominously prophesizes that ”man will fail. Man will always fail”. And on the subject of SUMAC, Aaron Turner actually has a guest spot on the record’s sixth track, “Crawling Back to God”. Working as the album’s centerpiece, it has a nice mid-‘00s groove followed by Turner roaring ”on bent knees, crawling back to God”. However, the prize for the best cameo goes to Nate Newton (Converge, Doomriders) on the final track, “At the Cauldron’s Bottom”. Fittingly, the last four minutes sound a lot like something Neurosis would’ve done, what with all the bouldering drumming and guitars that sound like hellfire ascending, and Newton’s vocals fitting in perfectly where Scott Kelly would’ve been during his prime.

I was just about to write that you’ve probably heard enough about featuring musicians by now, but that would be unfair to the album’s highlight and creative zenith: the haunting title-track. On here, Walker toys more with electronic sounds and noises than on any other track present among the 11-song tracklist, accompanied by Nicole Dollenganger’s frail voice. The atmosphere is eerie and disturbing despite the beautiful performance — as if something is just about to strike — but you don’t know from where or when it’ll happen. Like thunder from a clear blue sky, thickly distorted guitars tear through the pale white soundscape, with Walker poking his head in for a frightful performance just before letting Dollenganger take over again and lull us back to sleep.

Most tracks throughout “Trumpeting Ecstasy” are short, mean blasts that leave everything scorched. Sometimes, flourishing arpeggios (on “The Cosmic Vein”) or distorted spoken word (on “Deluminate”) give the listener room to breathe, but throughout the record’s 23 minutes, there’s little choice left but to immerse yourself in Full of Hell’s distorted, thrilling and schizophrenic universe. If you’re new to Full of Hell, this might be a good place for you to start, as it’s more approachable than most of the stuff the band has previously done. Long-time fans, however, now have an opportunity to hear yet another facet of the band unfold. It’s remarkable how well Full of Hell manages to excel at most of the terrains the explore, and with “Trumpeting Ecstasy” they’ve done it yet again.

8

Download: The Cosmic Vein, Crawling Back to God, Trumpeting Ecstasy, At the Cauldron’s Bottom
For the fans of: Nails, Code Orange, Weekend Nachos, Young and in the Way, Neurosis
Listen: Facebook

Release date 05.05.2017
Profound Lore

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