GLDN – First Blood EP

Posted: 22 July 2022 in Singles and EPs
Tags: , , , , , ,

22nd July 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

New York industrial rock act GLDN, the vehicle for Nicholas Golden’s twisted noise, set their stall out pretty strongly with their debut single, ‘Parasite’. Accompanied by stark, hypersaturated visuals, it was a screaming blast of pain and anguish straight from the school of Broken era Nine Inch Nails and Strapping Young Lad’s first album.

And so it is that they follow up with a debut EP, in the shape of First Blood. It’s a fitting title, and again, exploits striking, in-yer-face gored-up visuals render the pitch in explicit terms before you hear a note.

Lead track ‘Gravedigger’ grinds in with a pulsating synth bass groove and driving, metallic guitars, and they’ve achieved that perfect crisp guitar sound common to NIN, Pig, and Ministry. It’s abrasive and it’s noisy, and in following the popular quiet verse / loud chorus structure, it’s far from radical, but the key here is that it’s actually a decent tune. The title track alludes to The Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’ with its slow fade in, before settling to a low, slow, murky trudge. Stripped back and bassy, it’s also gnarly as hell, and finds GLDN at their most Marilyn Manson. Nicholas can deliver a truly blood-curdling scream, and when he does, it’s unsettling.

‘Ripe’ is seething, serpentine, and with its squalling guitar and snaking bassline, slips into gothier territory, like Christian Death meets Filter.

Where so many NIN-emulators fail is that they’re too preoccupied with following the blueprint, with lifting and referencing; where GLDN succeed is in assimilating the elements to create something unique, and something unswervingly brutal and harsh. Its viscerality is more than worthy of the title and cover art: it’s the sound of a guy spilling his guts and experiencing a pure catharsis at a thousand decibels.

It’s ‘Parasite’ that closes off this six-tracker, and it’s a strong and violent finale, which makes the prospect of the already-in-the bag Hemophilia EP set for release in August, even more exciting. I suspect we can expect more blood.

AA

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