Full of Hell

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Roots Of Earth Are Consuming My Home (2011), 7/10
Rudiments of Mutilation (2013), 6/10
Trumpeting Ecstasy (2017), 5.5/10
Weeping Choir (2019) , 6/10

Maryland's Full of Hell, fronted by Dylan Walker, explored the unlikely confluence of dissonance and grindcore/death metal on the brief Roots Of Earth Are Consuming My Home (A389, 2011), whose songs also abound with crescendos and tempo shifts. The stormy electronic sounds of Pile Of Dead Horses opens the album in the most cryptic manner, and later White Mare feels like the soundtrack of a lobotomy. The Oars Are Broken is simply one minute of guitar noise. These devastating intermezzos, in fact, prove the psychological skills of the band. They merge seamlessly with the terrifying waves of grindcore that begin with the thundering psychotic Endless Drone and continue through The Bed Is Burning and Rat King, both grossly epileptic at the beginning but then molded into something undefinable. The band releases an incredible shock of energy and drammaturgy in Dregs Of Pluto (calling it an "emotional peak" doesn't even come close). Grindcore frenzy becomes less and less relevant as the album approaches the end via the martial horror of Black Iron and the agonizing harrowing sermon Roots Of Earth Are Consuming My Home. Even the grotesquely limping Affirmation Of Nothing, that musically is a failure, acquires a powerful meaning when viewed as the end of this catathonic journey.

The 25-minute Rudiments of Mutilation (2013), even shorter than the debut, opens with another demented electronic vignette, Dichotomy, before delving into the raw relentless blastbeats of Vessel Deserted, their fastest song yet. While the first album displayed a sort of continuity from the first to the last song, this one is a rollercoaster of mood and dynamics, shuffling the majestic miniature Coven Of The Larynx, the breathless homicidal rant Indigence And Guilt, the whipping accelerations of Bone Coral And Brine, the grinding decelerations of Rudiments Of Mutilation, etc. The slow quiet and lengthy pieces (about four minutes each), Embrace and The Lord Is My Light are experiments that broaden their stylistic palette but to the detriment of what was their key strength: unbearable tension.

After collaboration with Japanese noisecore veteran Merzbow and with avant-doom band The Body, Trumpeting Ecstasy (2017), over-produced by Kurt Ballou of Converge (the Steve Albini of heavy metal), left the hardcore elements behind and focused on death-metal, but it is telling that, other than the guitarwork in Branches of Yew, the highlights are the relatively catchy Crawling Back to God, the relatively atmospheric Trumpeting Ecstasy and the relatively experimental At the Cauldron's Bottom (which, at six minutes, fills one third of the album), i.e. the songs that escape the death-metal dogma. Their death-metal is not particularly interesting.

Weeping Choir (2019) followed the same pattern: a series of diligent death-metal bullets like Aria of Jeweled Tears, the three-minute Rainbow Coil for more atmosphere and the experimental seven-minute Armory of Obsidian Glass (with even clean female vocals by Lingua Ignota).

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(Copyright © 2012 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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