FULL OF HELL – Weeping Choir

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/label: https://store.relapse.com
Released: 2019
Buy Album: https://fullofhell.bandcamp.com
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/fullofhell/

Band line-up:

Dave Bland – Drums
Spencer Hazard – Guitars, Noise
Dylan Walker – Vocals, Electronics, Noise
Sam DiGristine – Bass, Vocals

Tracklisting:

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

Review:

Full of Hell are an underground death metal band who have released their most intense album yet, ‘Weeping Choir’, through the Relapse record label. The band merges the extreme elements of hardcore, metal and power electronics with darkness and complete brutality. Distorted guitars and blitzing drums are behind the crazed vocals which are based on the themes of religion, loss and hatred. 

For a death metal band, this album is quite adventurous. You could call it a bit of a journey. There are plentiful fast rampant moments, crushing slow tempos, harsh noises based on distorted drums, feedback and such and occasional samples from radio stations. Often when artists make use of unmusical sounds they come across as dull or just plain random but everything on offer here can be described as meaningful art. Other than perhaps the deranged, atonal sax solo on ‘Ygramul the Many’ which just sounds weird. (Almost) everything is well placed and judged with taste. The changes of instrumentations and effects aren’t too sudden meaning the listener won’t be unfulfilled, and they don’t come too late, boring the listener. 

Whilst the structure of the release has been handled with much care, the riffs are so-so and aren’t particularly memorable. The thrashy guitar lines and punky/doomy chord progressions could come from any second rate band but on the plus side they aren’t mind-numbinblgy over-simplified – they just don’t have that special something. What is more interesting is the mournful tone from female vocals and the melodic tremolo picked guitars in ‘Armory of Obsidian Glass’. Unfortunately, such contrasting emotions aren’t too common, making the overall tone of the record a bit samey.

In conclusion, this death metal band is a lot deeper than many of their contemporaries. It’s not every day you hear a DM album that sounds like a story. Maybe the story could do with a wider range of moods, but for those who like things to be 100% brutal, that shouldn’t be an issue. It arguably isn’t the most catchy album in the world, and it’s not an awesome riff fest in the way ‘Hammer Smashed Face’ is, but it does make the listener ponder what the different musical (and not so musical) devices mean, which can only be a good thing. 

Review by Simon Wiedemann

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