Gospelheim, Blackened Gothic Rockers from Manchester kick things off with a statement of intent with their debut single – ‘Into Smithereens’. Their self-released debut album will follow later this year. Featuring alumni from variety of respected underground Manchester-based metal bands, the group appeals to tastes ranging from Paradise Lost to Unto Others, and beyond.
Right from the atmospheric tremolo picked intro, there’s a sense of different choices here: a rare breath of fresh air in the land of necro. Adding a Blackened element to Rock is something which is usually done to add a rougher edge to the song. to make it unrefined, and grittier. The kvlt approach here is much more soaring and epic sonic landscape, sacrificing the usual rough edges of anything blackened with a more melodic approach. Also, in the mix is the old school (presumably un-burnt) church feel that their ‘old testament wrath’ epithet alludes to, this is given full reign by some excellent production.
The most notable thing is the vocals, there’s no harsh vocals at all, not even a hint, this backed up with the almost choral backing, lends it almost an air of purity, which is refreshing. The vocal duties alternating between Coco and Ricardo adding an almost adversarial nature to the lyrics. The effect is unusual enough to by borderline hypnotic.
It’s also of note that it’s a very easy song to listen to repeatedly, without that modern era feeling oh that was cool, next. The chorus is particularly catchy and gets it’s hooks in quickly and deep. Which is testament to the song writing and experience of the individual musicians involved.
The video itself, complements the song perfectly, monochrome, subtle and understated it hints at the darkness underlying rather than more traditional Black Metal which tends to revel in it. I’d be tempted to say that this is the perfect song for those who always state they’d like Black Metal if it wasn’t for the vocals.
This is honestly one of the best things I’ve listened to in ages, and I’m really looking forward to the album release.
Buy the single here: https://gospelheim.bandcamp.com/releases
8 / 10