Thursday 26 April 2012

Hell Comes Home Volume I - Kowloon Walled City/Thou Split 7inch (Review)

By: Aaron Pickford

Album Type: Split 7inch Series
Date Released: 19/03/2012
Label: Hell Comes Home

Hey, fellow sludge heads.  What we have here for your delight is something for all of you vinyl junkies!  Our friends at Hell Comes Home Records have produced one of the best vinyl box sets ever, no doubt about it.  This is something very special indeed and it gives me great pleasure to share it with you.

What is on offer, is a must have for all you fans of sludge doom metal.  What is it, you ask?  The box set features new and exclusive material from the following acts: Akaname • Black Sun • Burning Love • Coffinworm • Dead Elephant • Dephosphorus • Dopefight • Dukatalon • Fight Amp • Fistula • The Fucking Wrath • Great Falls • Kowloon Walled City • Lesbian's Fungal Abyss • Pyramido • Rabbits • Rites • Suma • The Swan King • Tellusian • Thou • Throat • Ultraphallus • Union Of Sleep

The boxset includes
  • 12x split 7'' vinyls (the vinyl is black and the sleeves are 3 pantones print on uncoated paper)
  • A t-shirt
  • Digital download coupons (320 kbps MP3's)

Each one of the 7" vinyl is a split release with two artists providing one exclusive track each.  The vinyl also includes exclusive artwork from Kuba Sukolski. Check out the package here

In order to give you a flavour of each vinyl, I will be posting reviews of all the tracks by all the individual bands.  So let’s kick things off with a review of the first 7" release in the series which features, Kowloon Walled City and Thou.  This 'July' themed split features two exclusive cover versions of tracks originally performed by Low and Soundgarden.  I have heard it on good authority Kowloon Walled City is one of the sludgelord's favourite bands of recent times.  Hell Yeah!

‘Kowloon Walled City/Thou Split’ 7inch track listing:

Kowloon Walled City

A. July
(Low, from the album 'Things we lost in fire')


B. 4th Of July (Soundgarden, from the album 'Superunknown')

Kowloon Walled City is:
Ian Miller | Bass
Jeff Fagundes | Drums
Jason Pace | Guitar
Scott Evans | Vocal. Guitar
Lisa Papineau | Vocals on this track

Thou is:

Bryan Funck | Vocals
Andy Gibbs | Guitars
Matthew Thudium | Guitars
Josh Nee | Drums
Mitchell Wells |  Bass

The Review:

I freely admit that I wasn't aware of the band Low prior to this release; therefore I had no preconceptions of what the track would be like.   Employing the vocal talents of Lisa Papineau for this track, it has a very haunting quality to it, with the sludge heavy guitar sitting beautifully with the tortured but graceful vocal delivery of the aforementioned vocalist.  The trademark Kowloon sound is there, however they have reined it in a little, to give a subtle and dynamic delivery.  The guitars sound enormous when they are unleashed, bass heavy and thick.  The bass and drums also sound fat and dense, giving the song an edgy and unsettling feel to it.  I was blown away by the track and the band have produced something very special indeed.   The musicianship is first class, production is sublime and vocals are fantastic.  The song is first class. 

Before I start, I have say that I was/am a massive Soundgarden fan and '4th Of July' was one of the heaviest tracks they ever released, so it kind of figures that Thou got their dirty little paws on this track.  Wow! Wow! Wow!  This cover version is awesome, the guitars sound like they're tuned down to 'G' and they are incredible. I'm talking Conan heavy.   It is noticeable from the start that the vocals are a mixture of clean and screamed, but sang in synchronicity.  The clean delivery is breathtaking, sounding like the awesome Daxx Riggs formerly of Acid Bath and eerily similar to Chris Cornell's original; the harshness of the screams adding a demented and unpleasant quality to the track.  Honestly, the track needs to be heard to be believed.  In terms of the music, it is virtually note perfect and due to the low tuning of the original track, it is as if Thou were meant to cover this track.  Thou have taken the original song and delivered a track that is as close to the original as possible, yet they have put their own unpleasantly coarse stamp upon it.  This cover version is one of abhorrent beauty. 

‘Kowloon Walled City/Thou Split’ is available here