Album Review: Full Of Hell - 'Amber Mote in the Black Vault'

23 December 2015 | 12:28 pm | Staff Writer
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Full Of Hell get it. While we’re not quite sure what it is and, in the eternal wisdom of The Simpsons, what’s it may soon seem “weird and scary”, the Maryland/Pennsylvania contemporaries nevertheless strike that perfect balance, which combines sincerity and brutality.

Take in perfect case study form new 7” ‘Amber Mote in the Black Vault’. No excessive, drawn-out marketing campaign, with accordingly ridiculous gimmicks, preceded the release. Equally, no teaser videos, with a vague five-second snippet of a track (although in grind that may be the entire song length anyway), were plastered online. Instead, the band simply presents their music with little fuss. While the offering may be unassuming though, the music is as dominant as they come. This four-track release, which comprises three new songs and a Melvins cover, is filthy, abrasive and incredibly precise.

The Merzbow collaborative influence takes a backseat, with grind, metallic hardcore and powerviolence now the stylistic stepping-stones. Anyone who saw the band on their recent Australian tour would’ve become enamoured with the way drummer David Bland punished the kit. Quick sidenote, that’s a really ironic surname too considering the way the musician performs on stage. A freight train couldn’t hit with any greater force.

At 50 seconds, opener ‘Halogen Bulb’ is the initial and also standout point in the collection. Dylan Walker goes deeper with the guttural vocals, with the contrasting piercing refrains complementing not controlling. ‘Amber Mote’, which features an excerpt from Thomas Wolfe's 'You Can't Go Home Again', gets a little evil approaching the one-minute mark and those subtle 90’s European death metal influences are reflected proudly.

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Barb And Sap’ is the first moment when the samples creep back into the band’s sound. It’s the most experimental of the bunch. Contrastively, the Melvins cover, ‘Oven’, is a novel addition, which, if anything, gives the members a chance to relax when playing their instruments.

Currently available on Bandcamp for free, there's no excuse regarding a lack of access. Yes, Full Of Hell do get it. Music’s fun and to be enjoyed. We’ll take a band with DIY mentalities and members who are just as good listeners as they are performers over the myriad of utter garbage that features prominently on many festival bills.

Easy to digest, brutal without any suspense and, in typical grind form, short, on 'Amber Mote in the Black Vault', Full Of Hell highlight why they have become a consistent staple within the current genre.

1. Halogen Bulb

2. Amber Mote

3. Barb and Sap

4. Oven (Melvins cover)