Review Summary: ‘A dead sun shatters.’
Full Of Hell are a peculiar band. Hardcore has always been a genre with reasonable variants to its overall sound, whether that was the metallic harshness you’ll find from bands like Trap Them & All Pigs Must Die; the beatdown emphasis from Six Ft. Ditch, Xibalba and their colleagues; or the powerviolence elements that Infest, CokexBust & Weekend Nachos amongst others implemented into their music. But let me make one thing clear about all these genres; they oust positivity completely from their sound; Full Of Hell being no exception to this, going to the limit whereby you have to ask yourself whether or not the members of this band are even human. If you happened to catch their 2011 release ‘Roots Of Earth Are Consuming My Home’, you would have got a good idea of the intensely dark and sludgy music that Full Of Hell create in their own unique style, however Rudiments Of Mutilation delves further into the genres that they utilise to craft their disturbingly dissonant music.
If I had to visualise this album, it’s like putting Discordance Axis, Nails & Infest albums into a blender; blending them together; shooting the result into your blood stream before wandering alone in an abandoned building filled with broken glass. This album is the horrifying wails of a man trapped for years in isolation, suffering alienation from his own existence; tearing apart his mind at the very base, perception falling away. So how does this translate into music? Most accurately through the lyrics and vocals. The first track ‘Dichotomy’ acts as an incredibly unnerving introduction to the chronicles of insanity that the rest of the songs embody. Accompanied by some INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATING guitar feedback, Dylan howls out in his Magrudergrind-esque vocals some intensely fractured lyrics: ‘The dichotomy of all that is lush and rotten. Tincture of lament, burden of empathy. We weep in guilt.’ And whilst these lyrics aren’t exactly the words you’re going to be screaming back at any shows, they go hand in hand with the vocals and the dark tone of the music. Then you’re hit with some watery distortion effects as the drummer shreds out some quick fills in a frantic solo – leading swiftly into the rest of the album with ‘Vessel Deserted’.
For the remainder of Rudiments Of Mutilation, Full Of Hell carve out a bitter landscape of hallucination, anger and depersonalisation. Whether this is the fast-paced galloping speed of ‘Coven Of The Larynx’ with some impressive screaming from Walker to contrast against the guest vocalist Cory Smith’s mid-range shouts. However, his range is not limited to screaming by any means; intense and deep growls are prominently featured in tracks ‘Throbbing Lung Fiber’ & ‘Indigence And Guilt’ with some impressive experimentation in tempo and pitch throughout (see ‘Bone Coral And Brine’ for your best example of this). This gamble is undertaken by all members of the band, ‘Vessel Deserted’ displaying a strong powerviolence influence with a blazing fast intro and two verses lasting a mere 25 seconds before the guitars and drums are crushing us to death with some heavy and slow riffs. This sludgy, mire-like atmosphere dogs the tracks for positive effect in some songs; such as the aforementioned song as well as in the eponymous track. However, with the ‘instrumental’ track ‘Embrace'; with what sounds like an intense trance-inducing ritual song with slow and repetitive drums, distant and incoherent whispered lyrics, varying levels of feedback and crunchy bass plodding along – it doesn’t establish anything particularly memorable. Whilst it assists the atmosphere, it’s not something you’ll be looking back on with complete remembrance when you think of Rudiments Of Mutilation. But, when this style is attempted again in the final track ‘In Contempt Of Life’ – they are much more successful due to varying vocal techniques as well as bringing in the regular guitar tone to deliver a punishing and abysmally dark finish to the album.
The guitarwork and drums adopt their influences well, the tempo varying suitably and consistently – whether this is a d-beat coupled with a ‘run around and mosh’ riff such as in ‘Coven Of The Larynx’, a full-on snare blast in ‘Bone Coral And Brine’ or the fantastically dismal ‘The Lord Is My Light’ – the guitar tone is crisp enough to deliver the goods with the about 10 different forms of feedback you’ll hear on the album or a suitably dark riff where it needs to, whilst the drums somehow capture their ‘tribal’ purpose in how dark the band’s music is; but continue to impress with the drummer’s own technical spin on what would otherwise be straight forward and somewhat dull.
Whilst Full Of Hell haven’t released an album that has defined their genre, they are once more proving themselves to be at the top of their game as contenders – offering a unique and massively unholy sound; they have outdone themselves and the expectations of many others. The inclusion of John Hoffmann of Weekend Nachos fame in ‘Indigence And Guilt’ also scores bonus points for me. Rock the *** on.