Release Date: Oct 1, 2021
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal
Record label: Relapse Records
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Aaaaand there goes your head. I rarely listen to an album that is not the one I'm reviewing during the act of drafting it up. But here I am, with freaking Bauhaus being injected directly to my eardrums in a poor attempt of pacifying my thoughts after exposing them to Garden of Burning Apparitions, Full of Hell's latest scheme for an unhealthy amount of time. I've reached a painful nirvana, friends, a masochist's favorite guilty pleasure that only Pennsylvania's predilect purveyors of tinnitus knows how to inflict in proper measure.
Often the best extreme music -- and perhaps much of the best art -- comes from broken-down emotions, those fashioned from fear, pain, chaos, rage and the tortured and vulnerable spirit behind it all. Maryland's Full of Hell have built a career within these spaces as grand prolific purveyors of cathartic sonic violence. Their last two full-lengths, 2017's Trumpeting Ecstasy and 2019's Weeping Choir, and their collaborations with experimental metal duo the Body (2016's One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache and 2017's Ascending a Mountain of Heavy Light), are some of the wildest releases in extreme music, careening through noise, grindcore, hardcore, sludge, black and death metal, and imbued with hearts of darkness.
Full of Hell exist in a constant churn. On Garden of Burning Apparitions, the metal band's fifth non-collaborative full-length, they break down elements of grindcore, noise, hardcore, death metal, and industrial music so the sounds may be reconstituted into something uglier, more barbed, and more enigmatic. Their previous album, 2019's excellent Weeping Choir, seemed to balance the totality of extreme music on a sharp pinhead as it teetered through moments of incredible dissonance without abandoning the stomps and hooks of the band's hardcore roots.
Garden of Burning Apparitions by Full of Hell Even in a field as ridiculously overstuffed as metal, no one else sounds quite like Full of Hell. Depending on how you hear that, it's not necessarily a good thing: the band's uncompromising intensity presents obstacles to the music's circulating as widely as it could (or should). But inasmuch as Full of Hell might have a "breakthrough album," Weeping Choir (2019) and the considerable reach of Relapse Records pushed the band's music into some new contexts.
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