Hull - Beyond the Lightless Sky

  | CD

Just who the hell are Hull anyway? Well, for one thing they're that peculiar kind of metal band that scores reviews in top indie webzines like Pitchfork, which means they must harbor some sort of mysterious hipster je ne sais quoi that, though probably simply attached to the group's Williamsburg, Brooklyn address (and maybe the telltale haircuts sported during their previous incarnation as Reservoir, but who remembers that?), has forced them to tread the fearsome gauntlet between full-time headbanging rivetheads and ironic beards bored with indie rock but too chickensh*t to admit it. Whatever stigmas may follow them, though, you can't blame the bandmembers, because their 2009 debut, Sole Lord, was fully entrenched in the post-metal, errr...trench, and their 2011 sophomore album, Beyond the Lightless Sky, only builds upon this groundwork, unveiling an even rougher, uglier, and just plain heavier Hull. Indeed, while ignoring lingering debts to Isis, Neurosis, and other post-metal mainstays would be disingenuous, there's an obvious intent on Hull's part throughout this album to push boundaries further and deeper into the darkest abyss explored by these lumbering behemoths. As such, it's hard to imagine a more forceful opening statement than the 11-minute pièce de résistance, "Earth from Water" (unless it be ensuing sister epics "Fire Vein" and "False Priest"), which plumbs the cavernous depths where organized sound and seismic vibrations blur together. Or, for that matter, the tidal power unleashed by the title track and the LP's closing wallop, "In Death, Truth," once they shrug off their leaden armor and pick up the tempo with jolts of energy born of pure hardcore. Or the complex emotions and primal visions inspired by mysterious, interconnected instrumental interludes like "Just a Trace of Early Dawn," "Curling Winds," "Wake the Heavens, Reveal the Sun," and "A Light That Shone from Aside the Sea" -- all of them erected atop cacophonous foundations of tribal drums that tie the whole enterprise together beautifully. In fact, it's only after that daunting picture is completed that one can see past the question asked at the outset here, and know for sure that there is no personality crisis to speak of -- just a band trying to forge a unique path all its own, and finding some common ground between music's ultra-hip and unhip alike...that's who hell Hull are. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia Audio Mixer: Billy Anderson . Recording information: Studio 159. CMJ - "The result combines punk thrash and sludgy, wonderfully brutal metal."

[ Discography ] 
Label: The End | Item Code: Various | | Year: 2011 |

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