Not that they can be easily discerned of course; but the lyrics within Nihil Unbound (Independent Release), the second EP from New York State terrorizers Hush are graphic, harrowing and affecting, yet possess a haunting beauty. The enveloping, suffocating music is difficult but immensely rewarding: initially a seeping torture yet, as with opener ‘…Gazes into You’, often given a tribal quickening and the slightest lift with a low-pitched chord sequence.
The employment of two basses will surprise no-one daring to venture inside, the oppressive riff of ‘Oror’ as deep and dark as the Marianas Trench yet moved forward by Mark O’Brien’s controlled but brutal drums. The portentous centrepiece and three-quarter section of this hideous track send shivers down the spine but it’s the guttural roars and screams of Charles Cure and Jeff Andrews that tear the soul apart.
The tension here is not merely physical, but a diseased parasite sucking life from the listener in a delicious fashion. The crawling pace of ‘Shinda nu No Shashin’ is given feverish attitude by the leashes restraining each instrument: the sound of the strain almost detectable, the sparing chords and murderous roars placing every nerve-end on edge with the aid of a quickened, buzzing riff. Even the tuneful, Post-like air moving through the intro of ‘A Permanent Echo Through the Dream’ carries a sense of foreboding, the lead flurries lightening the sound and tempo but not the feeling of disgusting horror: this is only heightened by the pauses and ensuing dulled explosions as the track slows to its awful coda.
The verbalised pain emanating from closer ‘Shattering the Great Chain of Being’ reaches horrific proportions; whilst the relentless pounding, carrying the maleficent weight of Roman galleon ‘pacers’, is accompanied by more spiking leadplay and howling, whistling bass notes which reverberate through the mind and don’t release their grip. Those who have not yet experienced Hush must prepare themselves for an extremely uncomfortable journey, one that at times verges on the unbearable. For those of us who like music to take us to the very edge of sanity, however, this is a phenomenal experience.
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