Friday, 14 June 2019

ALBUM REVIEW: Full of Hell, "Weeping Choir"

By: Eeli Helin

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 14/05/2019
Label: Relapse Records

Weeping Choir” CD//DD//CS//LP track listing:

1. Burning Myrrh
2. Haunted Arches
3. Thundering Hammer
4. Rainbow Coil
5. Aria of Jeweled Tears
6. Downward
7. Armory of Obsidian Glass
8. Silmaril
9. Angels Gather Here
10.Ygramul the Many
11. Cellar of Doors

The Review:

The US noisy grindcore envoys Full of Hell are back with a blast, releasing their fourth full-length (excluding their collabs with The Body) ”Weeping Choir” on May 14th, and the first under Relapse Records. It's been two years since their previous two albums, ”Trumpeting Ecstacy” and ”Ascending a Mountain of Heavy Light”, their second album with the aforementioned experimental noise duo. The band's been highly prolific throughout their ten year career, and ”Weeping Choir” sounds like a band on their apex form.

Over time, Full of Hell's sound has evolved from more straightforward, hardcore impulsed grindcore into more noisy, more death metal influenced amalgamation of styles, and the evolution has been nothing but natural. You can also hear how the band has shaped and mastered their own territory, from where they can shoot to any direction without losing themselves or their fans in the process, conveniently always keeping their core exposed. You'll also find numerous confluences between their releases, tying it all ever so elegantly together without coming across as repetitive or harping.

Weeping Choir”, as addressed by the band, is the direct continuation and mirror image of 'Trumpeting Ecstasy'. The idea is imminent since the songs share the same topics and dictums, the artworks are sort of inversions of each other and so on. The 25 minute LP ignites with "Burning Myrrh". With zero bullshit, the song eviscerates everything on it's way, churning unforgivingly for one and a half minutes before collapsing into a doomy outro glazed with haunting clean tones toward the end, fittingly proceeding straight into the second song titled "Haunted Arches". This and the following track "Thundering Hammers" continue to pillage and ravage in customary manner, giving the album one hell of a start. The next turn is slightly unexpected; "Rainbow Coil" is a longer instrumental build-up consisting of only noise and samples. 

Personally, I'm delighted that the band can pull of such an abrupt move so early on without losing the momentum at all. At this point you'll also pay attention to the production of the album. Produced/recorded by Kurt Ballou of Converge and mastered by Brad Boatright like the previous album, the overall sound is punishing but clear, keeping the grindcore identity and integrity without sacrificing itself upon the altar of messy and downright unpleasant execution.

"Aria of Jeweled Tears" picks up the pace and appears as the strongest track so far, followed up "Downward", a piece more reminiscent of the times of ”Roots of Earth Are Consuming My Home” and ”Rudiments of Mutilation”. At this point I might add, and people who like this sort of music will know what I mean, it might be hard to pick up any certain riffs or reasons to why certain tracks come across stronger than others. It's a matter of feeling and flow rather than the individual moments, which there are still many that can be clearly pointed out if necessary. A lot of these moments are sprinkled across "Armory of Obsidian Glass", the Lingua Ignota featuring gloomy and putrid magnificent oeuvre clocking nearly seven minutes, acts as a cornerstone placed precisely where it needs to be. The tracks swirls and sways between pummeling and redeeming, managing to capture a wide range of compositional dynamics and feelings to a single song. Lingua Ignota's feat is also spot on, guaranteed to give kicks to fans of either and both. Towards the end, the song introduces a new, blatantly and facetiously put, emotional side to the bands output, again proving Full of Hell to be a perennial shape shifter.

The remaining four tracks serve some of the highlights of their discography; "Silmaril" offers unexpected tempo changes and a vocal section resembling more of a moving clog in a sewer than a human. "Angels Gather Here" sounds like it could be in one of the collaboration albums with The Body, showing that Full of Hell are more than capable to rejoice in that kind of noise by themselves too. "Ygramul the Many" slaps in a saxophone solo, relating to the closer track in the Merzbow collab. "Cellar of Doors" conjures some pretty disgusting demons before offering the album an appropriate, sudden end.

Without turning this to anymore of a novel, ”Weeping Choir” is currently Full of Hell's grand work. It falls perfectly in line with all of their other releases, and continues their upward crawl back to God. What they do when they get there is unknown, but something to look forward to.

”Weeping Choir” is available here

Band info: facebook || bandcamp