Saturday 25 January 2014

Gholas - Litanies - Album Review

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 11th February 2014
Label: Dullest Records

Litanies, album track listing:

1). ...And The Lives Come Flooding
2). With Terrible Purpose
3). The Worm
4). Calls Out To The Supplicants
5). The Sleeper
6). The Fighters


Gholas lurks the murky depths of noise, down tuned guitars, no wave, not quite metal and a tad space gazing as only four unfortunate miscreants that spent their formative years in the festering wasteland that is New Jersey could. Their songs are harsh down tuned blasts of sound that scratch the surface of an unhealthy obsession with the writings of Frank Herbert, Philip K Dick and Arthur C. Clarke, among others.

Their latest LP, entitled Litanies, finds the band trimming down their attack while still incorporating the grating noise and ambience of their previous outings into a more concise and, at times, direct aural assault on people’s ears. Prior to Litanies, Gholas has released one full length album (2010's Загадка), an EP (2008's Here I Am, Here Is Infinity) and a live tape of a radio show appearance (2011's Poisoning The Airwaves).

Gholas is the sum of its past lives.

The Band:

Bob: Vocals, Baritone
Chris: Baritone, Vocals
Dave: Drums
Joe: Bass


So 4 years have passed since Gholas superb début album Загадка impressed the hell out of me. It's mixture of sci-fi based vibes and pummelling Atmospheric Sludge Metal riffs made the album one of the most uncompromising début I heard in years. Their love of works from legendary novelists – Philip K Dick, Frank Herbert and Arthur Clark give Gholas a different and unique voice to their Post-Metal peers.

Now in 2014 Gholas have returned with Litanies. An equally more disturbing vision from these visionary rockers. As Gholas fuse classic tales of sci-fi paranoia, devastation and retribution all told the through the power of music.

First track - ..And The Lives Come Flooding – comes flying at you with all guns blazing. Lead vocalist – Bob – leaves no stone unturned with some brutal vocals that will leave you in a state of confusion and shock. It may take some time to get used to Bob's vocals and what he is shouting at you but you will take notice on what he has to say. The rest of the Gholas crew (Chris, Dave and Joe) make sure you're not sitting comfortably at all as they play fast-paced Sludge/Post-Metal riffs that prey on your worst fears and nightmares and make them truly come alive.

Gholas are an unstoppable beast and they will destroy everything that stands in it's way. This album is going to own your pitiful wasteful lives for the next 40 mins or so. Gholas are one of the new breed of Post-Metal bands who are not afraid to test your patience and intelligence with their multi-layered tales sci-fi greatness. Yeah they do owe a nod to legendary Post-Metal bands such as Neurosis, Isis and Cult Of Luna but Gholas have a soul destroying identity of their own.

Gholas do include ambient style noises into their music and with their sci-fi influenced views you can't help be mesmerised from start to finish. Gholas are loud from the word go. Don't go expecting an album full of euphoric moments as there are none to be found. Gholas are one mean pissed off band and they show their anger fully on excellent 2nd track – With Terrible Purposes – an angry and passionate driven track with the music being the star of the show. Though the vocals are killer through out. It's the riffs that holds your attention here. Impressive work by Dave and Joe on Drums and Bass respectively as they play their hearts out here.

The Worm – is obviously a nod to the legendary Dune Saga written by Frank Herbert. Gholas lay down some impressive riffs before Bob and Chris combine vocal duties for an almighty cosmic onslaught on your audio senses. It's a breathtaking adventure that instantly drags you in and doesn't stop hounding you until the dying seconds. This 6:16 minute epic shows why Gholas are a band that cannot be messed with. Intricate vocals and atmospheric sounds will warn you – YOU DON'T HAVE A PRAYER!!!!

4th Track – Calls Out To The Supplicants – is the shortest track here at 2:37 mins but don't let the short running time fool you. This track is full of heavier and even more dangerous riffs than the earlier tracks. Play this track at full blast and embrace the carnage and destruction that Gholas have planned for you. As you're going to need it for the last two epic tracks on the album.

Gholas have left the best two tracks on the album for last. Two storming epics - The Sleeper and The Fighters – both running past the 9 min to 10 min mark. This is where Gholas play some of the heaviest riffs I have heard them play so far. Brutal vocals, ambient noises and sublime Post-Metal riffs have never sounded so good or as dangerous as this. Gholas will leave you in a hypnotic trance for 20 minutes as Gholas have some brilliant ideas here that will leave you begging for more. Trust me folks but this is the first great Post-Metal album to own in 2014.

Post-Metal has been called Thinking Man's Metal in the past and Gholas have embraced this philosophy head-on and it proves the band are a truly forward thinking band with ideas that will last for years to come.

Litanies is an incredible experience which ourselves at Sludgelord HQ are huge fans of. This album is going to be in my best of 2014 list. It's seriously that great.

Brilliant. End Of.

Thanks to Gholas and Kim at Catharsis PR for sending us a promo to review. Litanies will be available to buy from Dullest Records from Feb 11th 2014 on DD and CD.

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