Monday, 11 July 2016

Ghold - "PYR" (Album Review)

By: Charlie Butler

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 06/05/2016
Label: Ritual Productions


“PYR” is an exceptional release from Ghold that really cements their position as the finest heavy act in the UK right now. It is the sound of a band who exist in a world of their own, above and beyond our plane of existence and drifting ever closer to the outer limits.

“PYR” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Collusion With Traitors
2. Blud
3. CCXX
4. Despert Thrang


The Review:

Bands that consist of only two members are often based on an intense, almost telepathic relationship. The addition of extra musicians into the equation can disrupt this delicate balance, for better or worse. London’s Ghold have expanded to a trio for new album “PYR” adding guitarist Oliver Martin to their ranks. Hopefully this will only enhance the mysterious alchemy the duo of Paul Antony and Aleks Wilson documented on their stellar debut LP “Of Ruin”.

Right from the start of opener “Collusion With Traitors” it is apparent that the addition of Martin has only made this monstrous band even more powerful. The three tracks that make up the first side of this LP take Ghold’s singular sonic vision and drive further out into the unknown. Trying to pin down their unique sound is difficult but imagine an intoxicating combination of the hypnotic groove of Om, the restless riffcraft of the Melvins and the dissonant prog rock of King Crimson. Comparison to other bands do not do justice to the sheer oddness of this album though, these compositions sound like the work of beings from a higher dimension.

The heavy riffs, labyrinthine song structures, ominous vocals and cavernous reverb of previous releases are still present. Rather than drowning the rhythm section in a sea of volume and feedback, Martin’s guitar adds atmospheric texture without being overpowering whilst bringing extra grunt where necessary. Jagged shards of lead guitar enhance the tension in “CCXX” as the lumbering intro twists into an unexpected burst of straight-ahead stoner punk before lurching back into sludge.

Brilliant as the first three tracks are, “PYR” is dominated by the 22 minute behemoth that is “Despert Thrang”. The first half sees Ghold at their most intense, pummelling noise-rock onslaughts bursting through periods of barely audible calm. Vocals switch between faraway chants and insistent barks as the band shift between extremes. This complexity is in contrast to the loose, almost improvised feel of the second section of the track. The band establish a dark, buzzing cloud of drone built around molasses-thick slow-motion riffs, crashing cymbals and distant wails provided by guest vocalist Rose Dagul.  The mind-blowing ambition of “Despert Thrang” makes for a captivating journey that is almost worthy of an album in its own right.

PYR” is an exceptional release from Ghold that really cements their position as the finest heavy act in the UK right now. It is the sound of a band who exist in a world of their own, above and beyond our plane of existence and drifting ever closer to the outer limits.
PYR” is available here
Band info: Facebook

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