Full of Hell - “Amber Mote in the Black Vault”
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It takes about six minutes to know that Full of Hell is going to have their best year yet in 2016, which is also approximately how long it takes to listen to their new EP, Amber Mote in the Black Vault, in its entirety. Coming off of a blistering collaboration with Japanese noise demon Merzbow and moving forward with an already much-hyped pairing with Oregon’s The Body, Amber Mote, currently streaming on their Bandcamp page, sees Full of Hell not toning down in the interim so much as reconfiguring around the sludge and death metal elements of their sound--even going so far as to include a bizarre cover of the Melvins’ “Oven,” as if to drive the point home.
It’s safe to say that Full of Hell will never be anything less than abrasive, and what we get here is textbook: “Halogen Bulb” is a 50-second nailbomb, released prior to the album as a teaser whose promise the rest of the EP happily fulfills. “Amber Mote” wastes no time flattening the listener under waves of distortion, only for “Barb and Sap” to come lurching along, swinging slam riffs around like sledgehammers--and then finishing off with that Melvins cover that feels like more and more of a wink and a nudge with each playthrough. By its very nature, the track forces Full of Hell to move-and-groove in a way we haven’t really seen them do before, and it’s not the only sign of FOH’s experimental spirit on display. There is a wonderful excerpt from Thomas Wolfe’s “You Can’t Go Home Again” halfway through “Amber Mote” and a creepy sample punctuating the already nightmarish “Barb and Sap.” Are these a sign of things to come? Can we expect a sludgier, more deliberate Full of Hell this March?
Time will tell, but for now, Amber Mote in the Black Vault is more than enough to tide me over until One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache.
- Brian L.