2015 may already be yielding some gems, but there’s always time to discover something great you missed in 2014. And Most Holy Death’s recent EP Forsake Your Blood released in October is a fantastic release. Combining drone and noise with tortured vocals and dark ambience, this EP is a bleak, unsettling, brilliant listen.
While there is a constant of pained vocals throughout the EP, each of these four tracks has it’s own equally unsettling feel. Caravan of Ghosts opens with a sharp distorted drone, buzzing away with a bleak intensity, oscillating slowly through even lower frequencies, before the bleak vocals come in over the top. The tortured drawn out rasps are processed and distorted into a twisted snarl, and with the dark lyrics it creates a disturbing atmosphere. The unrelentingly dense guitar tone combined with the ungodly rasps is bleak enough, and the noise elements near the end make it a really oppressive listen. Forsake your blood’s slow synth pattern is saturated with melancholy, each key change piling on the misery, and providing a dark framework for sheets of white noise and dense guitar drones. The star is the vocalist though, more tortured rasps deliver dark, ominous lyrics which just add to the bleak atmosphere. Dead Seeds is more of a brooding noisier track, electronics scraping and bursting their way through more melancholic synth drones, while closer Claw Yourself Out pushes this noisy approach further, white noise pulsing away in low frequency, bursting away from the core with distorted unpredictability; synths and vocals once again completing the disturbing sound.
Uneasy listening and not for the faint hearted, but for those who like their music dark and oppressive it’s a must. For fans of Indian’s latest opus From All Purity, but with more emphasis on the bleak and unsettling.