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When I heard about this particular collaboration, I swear a little bit of wee came out. Seattle’s Un is still reveling in the success of last year’s coruscating, moving Sentiment (Translation Loss Records), while Scouse / Scottish hybrid Coltsblood have laid waste to the UK Underground for the last five years. This split, therefore, promises to be a leveller on both sides of the Atlantic. Continue reading
Amebix has a free download and streaming of Arise! – The CVLT Nation Sessions available here.
AMEBIX Arise! – The CVLT Nation Sessions Track Listing:
01: Plagues – The Moor
02: Plagues – Axeman
03: Abstracter – Fear of God
04: Drug Lust – Largactyl
05: Coltsblood – Drink and Be Merry
06: American – Spoils of Victory
07: Agrimonia – Arise!
08: Okus – Slave
09: Larvae – The Darkest Hour
At the ‘Gig of the Milennium’ in Manchester, England, last September, a little-known London duo blew apart a path for Pallbearer and Yob to follow. Ghold certainly left their filthy, mammoth mark on that evening, and carry that on into their second album Of Ruin (Ritual Productions).
Following the path of brutal weight and minimal lyrics blazed by the likes of Conan, Ghold’s fearful cacophony carries added omen; a grimy edge to the fizzing, ploughing bass notes and a gruff, screamed vocal rather than the distant, atonal holler expected. There’s variation too with the whispered intonations of opener ‘Saw The Falling’ exploding into a Coltsblood-style roar, time switches expertly and forcibly executed by cavernous drums for a downright earth-shaking opening. The voice develops into a crackling roar à la Matt Pike during the ensuing ‘Partaken Incarnate’ with chaotic and pummelling rhythms building the atmosphere for a booming mid-section, the staccato riff savage and violent; whilst the clean vocal, reminiscent of Kansas‘ Steve Walsh, shouldn’t fit but really does, and introduces a whirling, psychedelic coda.
The apparent belief in scene-setting is borne out in the sinister vignette of jazzy structures and false heartbeat to the building intensity of ‘All Eyes Broke’, whilst the mashing, uncontrolled battery of ‘Pursed’ and ‘Odic Force’ leads to passages of ominous pondering. The middle section of ‘Odic…’ is an horrific, quickening confusion, sound attacking from all directions and showing an inventiveness to the crawling, evil resonance.
The only issue is the rigidity of tone and cold lack of emotion which the occasional contribution of a guitarist, so effective in the live show, would awaken considerably here. Of Ruin represents the monstrous warrior, unmoved by pleasantry and unwavering in his savage wielding of a weapon, the merest hint of a switch in direction garnering devastating results without flourish. The riff and clattering bass of closer ‘Rid The Gleam’ drop from the heavens, whilst the squeaking of the viciously-treated strings attack the nerves like a prowling psychopath. More adventurous than many such cave-dwellers however, there’s mystique and intrigue in Ghold’s approach, showing the ability to lead and even change the game.
That this gig even went ahead, given the steady stream of disaster befalling so many of its protagonists, was a miracle. Some weeks before the event, rising Liverpool-based doom trio Coltsblood had agreed to step in for the original headliners; while on the eve of the onslaught, Huddersfield swamp monsters Wort were forced to withdraw also.
A sequencer arrived as if from nowhere, and Peter Callaghan soon began to add his psychedelic bleeps and squiggles to the heavy as hell, occasionally funereal sludge of Stoke’s Space Witch. Bassist Ian Hickton, a less hirsute version of Lord of the Rings’ grumpy dwarf Gimley, rumbled his weapon so deeply I was fooled into thinking I was shitting myself: doubtless aided by the venue, around eighteen inches taller than me and about twice the size of my living room. Initmate? You betcha. At times the sound and weight felt like a train crash but despite the bleeding horror there’s a languid bliss in the audience, mirroring the brutal ease with which Dan Mansfield abused his kit.
The hypnotic, groove-laden sludge of Blackburn’s Bastard Of The Skies led to myriad knees and hips being displaced during an incendiary set. A Punch in the Fucking Lungs saw front man Matt Richardson roar his usual spoken verse and begin to flush like Rooney at a World Cup: his scathingly sarcastic lyrics delivered with a malevolence which belied the ease the trio undertook its task. Despite Matt Aldred breaking sticks to the apron, he and bassist Claire Horrocks laid waste on the pounding Yarn and the brooding, darkly portentous Bao Fu, both from their recent split with tonight’s original co-headliners Grimpen Mire; whilst the explosion from the lull within …Dicknose? was executed with the synchronised violence of a band at one with each other.
Sadly the night ended prematurely, due to Coltsblood guitarist Jemma McNulty needing hospital treatment after an allergic reaction. Hence four were reduced to two and focus therefore remained on Bastard Of The Skies: arguably the coolest band in the world right now, despite their friendly and unassuming demeanour, this lot demand your whole attention.
WORDS: PAUL QUINN