Full Of Hell‘s incorporation of industrial and noise elements into their savagely unforgiving brand of grindcore has earned them a status as one of the most punishing and boundary-pushing bands from extreme metal.
This may be a result of their restless work ethic, or the band seemingly being on a permanent creative hot streak, or both; this – ‘Weeping Choir’ – is their seventh studio album in the ten years that they’ve been together, some of them being collaborations with acts like Merzbow and The Body.
‘Burning Myrrh’, which opens the album in a terrifying fashion, and ‘Thundering Hammers’ are both classic Full Of Hell; tremolo-picked guitars coupled with bone-crushing riffs. Still, the moment when you realise that this is indeed the full experience is the cacophony of obtuse, squealy noise that is ‘Rainbow Coil’.
The phrase “always different, always the same” may be apt. You know you’re going experience a terrifying record, but the way in which it’s applied is always unexpected, and knocks you for six every time. ‘Downward’ is a haphazard, all-over-the-place cauldron of fury, with the instrumentation coming together perfectly despite seemingly not fitting. But, we’re not even at the true highlight of the album yet.
A song that trudges its way through in a zombie-like fashion, namely ‘Armory Of Obsidian Glass’, takes us on all manner of extremes, with the droning voices leaving you completely unnerved. A more melodic passage, reminiscent of Converge‘s ‘First Light’, sets the tone for a slightly less scary ending, but not without the weeping choir, if you will.
Whilst the album switches through many variants of evil quickly, it’s a good way of leaving you perched on the edge of your seat and wondering what will happen next. After ‘Angels Gather Here’, which ends with a typically eerie sludge-out section, we’re greeted with two fiery doses of their signature blackened grindcore to wrap up the record, including the deranged ‘Ygramul The Many’.
While ‘Weeping Choir’ is slightly more direct than its predecessor, ‘Trumpeting Ecstasy’, the result is just as manic. Many bands have tried to incorporate outside influences into extreme metal, yet what Full Of Hell have achieved over the course of their career is something that has rarely been bettered. A masterfully concocted chokehold of an album.