Ghold – PYR

Posted: 18 April 2016 in Albums
Tags: , , , , , ,

Ritual Productions – 6th May 2016

Christopher Nosnibor

PYR is the third album by sludgelords Ghold, and the press release promises an album ‘towering with a sonic thickness, frantic dizzying energy and shattering immediacy, penetrated by despondent howls and an uncompromising slice of remorselessness’. Christ. So it’s heavy, then?

You could say that. It begins with a slow throb, a low, deep bass tone that borders on ambience and lurks on the peripheries of awareness. Off course, you know it’s going to come in heavy at some point, but the suspense… The release is glorious. A throbbing beast of a riff ploughs in, the bass dominant, the occasional vocals barely audible in the landslide of sludge. After the 11-minute monolithic beast that is the first track, ‘Collusion with Traitors’, ‘Blud’ piledrives in with a squalling frenzy that’s more Fudge Tunnel than Sunn O))) and clocks in at an uncharacteristically concise five minutes.

‘CCXX’ brings more weight and overloading riffs with crushing bass to the fore, but it’s the 21-minute ‘Despert Thrang’ which dominates the album in every way. It’s practically an album in its own right. Again, it’d all about the build, about the pacing. Gradually, a tempest rises from not a whisper but a downturned, growl. Blasts of percussion and powerchords blast in, haltingly, threatening to break but holding back until finally, the levee breaks and the riff powers forth. What else is there to do buy clench your fists, mouth ‘fuck yes’ and get down? It’s got some serious heft, and evolves over the course of its epic span, finally culminating in a blitzkrieg of noise.

While this is very much an album made for vinyl – of the kind that you want to play rather than stick on your wall as some kind of hip-kid statement, the CD does offer a bonus cut in the shape of ;’Something of Her Old Fire’, a gnarly bass-driven grind that trudges its way mercilessly to a final climax.

For all the big distortion and emphasis on the bottom end, not to mention the relentless churn that defines the album, there is texture, and in terms of tempo changes and dynamic, PYR has considerable range. And yes, it’s devastatingly heavy.

 

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Ghold Online

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