First and foremost, this album is sonic experimentation at it’s finest. For those unfamiliar with this London based project, Ghold create a deep, rich sound composed of only bass guitar and drums. Perhaps the best way to describe this bands sound is the mongoloid bastard-child of of 5ive and Lighting Bolt. This duo have been making waves as of late for their ability to craft a unique, dense sound that they twist and summon forth from their instruments. Their newest output entitled Of Ruin is out now courtesy of Ritual Productions. A massive, heavy ride into the nether-realm of Doom Metal and a fitting soundtrack for The King Under The Mountain. Ghold push the limits and concepts of what can be done between two musicians and their chosen weapons of war on this latest venture.
I was actually startled the first few times I listened to this album, half expecting a noise-filled, shitstorm of sound – which was clearly not the case once I got into this album. The first track, “Saw the Falling,” does a remarkable job of setting the album’s tone and direction. As expected of a band comprised of just the rhythm section, the bass rattles the fillings out of your teeth while the drum beat can felt all the way down your spine. For being the opening track of an album, it takes a minute for one to really warm up to what they’re doing. As the song progresses and finally closes out, Ghold’s vision becomes absolutely apparent as to what lays in store further on into this album. With only two members and four arms between them, Of Ruin proves its weight even with such limited physical resources.
What really sets this beast apart from the pack is that they don’t really rely on just being “heavy.” There are a number of spine-breaking moments of course strewn through out this album, but also some rather catchy as hell hooks. The half way point of “Partaken Incarnate” features a really subdued build up and bass line that showcases an attention to creating a not just mountain-sized sound, but Mariana Trench-like depth as well. From the subterranean bellows and clear vocals on this track, Ghold show that they can use every tool at their disposal to nourish their sound, which just goes to show how far these two can delve into their created musical universe and what can be done with some inventive thought.
Without ever going overboard on the technical aspect or filling this one with just noise and feedback, Ghold ride out like true warriors to battle on every track. Each song feels like it was dug up from the core of the earth, perhaps best exemplified by the eleven minute voyage that is “Odic Force.” From the onset of this track, spastic drums assault the senses before the band takes a step back to allow a proper view of what’s in store. The duo navigate and twist around a funeral-paced march before picking the tempo up for a brief, hyperactive assault, until finally settling back down. “Odic Force” contains every element that the band has shown on the album, wraps it up nicely and presents it with crooked, broken smile for the listener to digest.
For true, die hard, Doom Metal feedback-addicts, this album might scare you a bit before listening to it. The use of just drums and bass might raise an eyebrow when applying the term “Doom Metal” to their sound. But fret not, because the musical relationship these two show together is top-notch. Even without the use of a guitar, both members are completely in-sync with each other and have created a meaty piece of sound for the listener to chomp into. The entire album has a murky, choking feel to it. Almost like one is peering in on the inner workings of a smoke-filled, Dwarven black smith. The previous comparison to the voyagers of sound known as 5ive and Lighting Bolt was perhaps the closest I could come up with while writing this, as Ghold have a little bit in common with both projects without ever really sounding exactly like either one. They walk the same line and concept of delving into what can be created between two like minded artists, without ever getting tired and exhausting, which is no easy task. Ghold should be proud of this release and hopefully will continue to ride forth on their lower-end of the spectrum of sound beyond this.
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