Monday, December 7, 2015

Gloam : " Hex of Nine Heads"

Opening with a 14 and a half minute song is a bit of a downer...for me because I'm over the obligatory over ten minute black metal jam. These guys have some sinister things brewing out in Santa Cruz, where all the skate punk use to come from and only traces of thrash can be found in their sound. The vocals are at times the darkest nastiest thing about their sound. I like the fact they blend some subtle atmosphere and the guitars stir up a melody to over some of the angular punches being summoned here. The song wanders , but does not drag. However after this extravaganza they are faced with the what else can you do ?

The answer to that question comes in the form of raw feral flailing that is nowhere near as interesting.Blasting for no apparent reason, but for the sake of blasting, it is black metal at it's lowest common denominator. The solution for this is for them to slow down and get sonically creepy, a vast improvement. This descends back into the animalistic gnashing of riffs. The break down of this section finds the bass emerging from the murk of the mix."Execration Trance" changes the pace with the tom pound of drums , before going into something closer to conventional black metal. The instrumental that follows seems like an extension of the previous song if it went in a more dissonant and melodic direction. "Corporeal Torment" grinds and oozes it's way into dark passages of undulating distortion. Midway in the song goes off on a blast tangent, for no reason that makes sense in the story telling of the song. It does slow back down, but doesn't really get any more compelling in doing so.

The title track finds their sound morph more than it has for the bulk album as the vocals shift into a lower growl and the guitar slows down into shadow filled drift of hauntingly delicate chords. Dynamically the build her makes sense and I would not fault them for busting into a blast beat as it would make sense. The song winds it's way into a gallop and this twelve minutes is well spent.Overall they capture some pretty good vibes even though the songs get mired down in the trapping of traditional black metal. I'll give this a 7.

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