A wander into the subterranean depths of metal, unearthing the best in black, death, doom and beyond.
The growth and development of Pennsylvania’s, Full of Hell, could be likened to the sharpening of a knife. Their debut, Roots of Earth Are Consuming My Home, is a wonderfully assured slab of hardcore/sludge, that while heavy, is not, at least by my standards, particularly extreme. It’s follow-up, Rudiments of Mutilation, is another story, one in which powerviolence, death, doom, and noise, have a grand old time with grind to create an album that is as vile and abrasive, as it is brilliant.
In the years between Rudiments of Mutilation and Trumpeting Ecstasy (this year’s harsh, grinding masterpiece), Full of Hell released two full-length collaborative records. One with revered Japanese noise artist, Merzbow (Full of Hell & Merzbow); the other with obscure doom duo, The Body (One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache). The former serves as an appropriate follow-up to Rudiments…, only more focused and expansive. The latter, however, is one of the most challenging listening experiences I’ve ever had as a fan of heavy music. Dissonant electronics, harsh noise, grinding blasts, otherworldly wails and shrieks. All these things are stitched together into an ugly tapestry of sound that does a remarkably horrible job of numbing the mind and oppressing the listener.
Which brings us to Trumpeting Ecstasy, a twenty-three minute long, white-hot flash of pain, that sees Full of Hell utilising the experiences gained during their collaborative period, while still sounding entirely like Full of Hell. With only two of Trumpeting Ecstasy’s eleven tracks breaking the three-minute mark, Full of Hell spend a lot of time at full throttle. Songs like Deluminate, Bound Sphinx, and Digital Prison, are all breakneck, blunt force trips into hell that will leave you stunned and broken. The vocals snap between Dylan Walker’s abrasive, throaty shrieks, and bassist, Sam DiGristine’s guttural death grunts, as unpredictable and chaotic as the instrumentation.
It is perhaps, however, Trumpeting Ecstasy’s title track that serves as it’s crowning moment. The striking voice of bedroom pop auteur, Nicole Dollanganger, sits atop a bed of sinister, churning noise; the fragility of her performance enhancing the jagged, rabid attack of Full of Hell.
If you like extreme music, I implore you to listen to this record. It may be challenging at first but it’s brilliance will reveal itself to you in repeat listens. Not only is this one of 2017’s best records, it’s also one of the finest grind albums of the past five years. All hail, Full of Hell!