Archive for the ‘Ghold’ Category

Ghold — Of Ruin

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

To those obsessed with traditions, setting out to create heavy music then taking guitars out of the equation would not only be akin to blasphemy, but tantamount to an impossible dream. Of course, just about anything suggested by musical gatekeepers can readily be shown up for the absurd notion that it is, and there are plenty of artists that have come and gone that have shown that a pulverizing heaviness can be created with a rhythm section and vocals alone. Ghold are a duo based out of London that have been proving so since their inception three years ago. On their second full-length album released via Ritual Productions earlier this year, Of Ruin, Ghold have produced a record of truly explosive and primal menace that delightfully belies their minimal framework.

If one was skeptical of the capacity for such an arrangement to produce something sonically devastating, then they could just skip right ahead to the album’s second track, “Partaken Incarnate.” From its very beginning, Ghold bludgeon you with swirling toms and a dynamic swarm of distorted down-tuned bass riffs. It’s the sound of earth being torn to pieces and cruelly mixed with masses of blood and flesh from a cohesive and punishing full armoured division attack.

Ghold are frequently referred to as doom, but once again, there is much more to what they have put together than just a single stream of thought. There are far too many crescendos of pace, energy, and musical detail to ascribe any fairness to such categorization. Certainly, there are plenty of dramatic moments where minimal riffs linger and evolve at funeral pace, but Of Ruin manages great strength through great variation. Likewise, in one instance the vocals will rage primitively over their bestial tattoo, then metamorphose from such raw sound into surreal effected choral passages or whispered psychedelic mantras.

Of Ruin adds to the proof that stripping things down need not create limitations for what an artist wants to achieve. Some of the best creations in any field are achieved by keeping things simple, which is not to say that Ghold are simplistic. This is an engaging and punishing record that will definitely appeal to fans of The Melvins (whom Echoes and Dust pointed out are an obvious influence), as well those who love dark and oppressive doom and progressive and experimental metal. With what they have chosen to work with, to have produced a collection of songs with so many different gears of energy and intensity (both within each individual work and between them all) is to Ghold’s great credit.

The Black Captain hosts RTRFM’s Behind the Mirror on Wednesday, July 8, at 11pm (+7GMT).