After emerging in 2019 with a life-fracturing debut demo tape of pure power electronics-infused industrial metal blight, Richmond VA’s HOLD ME DOWN have now prepared their big leap, as they ready for the release of their first official debut full-length album “Powerless” which you can stream in full for the first time exclusively right here:
“Powerless” is a colorless and caustic amalgam of nefarious electronics, spine-breaking industrial, shredding metal guitars, and dissociative atmospheres that rises from the depths of oblivion like the quintessence of all which a modern industrial fan should love, combining in a lucid triumph of deconstructed terror both the old and classic along with the new and more experimental fringes risen in recent years.
Within this thirty-minute slab of synthetic aural deterioration, you will find the reckless intensity of Ministry, the repetitive and obsessive onslaught of SWANS and Godflesh, and the hallucinatory electronics of Skinny Puppy, and that makes up only half of the destructive yield of this album. The other half is condensed from a plethora of horrific industrial experiments which have risen in parallel at a much more underground level, or which have only been fully developed in more recent times: power electronics, harsh noise, black/death industrial, etc. This is where Hold Me Down gets the most abysmal and frightening, as they channel the abstract horrors of bands like Brighter Death Now, Mz.412, Controlled Bleeding, and the entirety of the Cold Meat Industries tradition and repertoire into a sanguinary mechanical hallucination.
Aside from the meticulous and sophisticated distillation of industrial styles and currents, what really sets “Powerless” aside is its overbearing emotional burden which seethes from every track and in the way the album is conceived and executed, radiating onto the listener an onslaught of cold, detrimental, and grim projections of alienation, loneliness, and endless hopelessness. The press release hints at the album title and the album’s sound as something which attempts to render the listener “powerless,” like a sonic mirror reflection of many aspects of today’s culture and society that tend to have the same effects on people, rendering reality effectively unbearable to many of us.