Full of Hell – Coagulated Bliss Review

If you’ve been following the modern grindcore scene in any fashion over the past fifteen years, then you’ve at least heard of Maryland’s high-output, low-trend grindmongers Full of Hell. Collaborating or splitting space with everyone from tough punks Code Orange1 to Japanese static spinner Merzbow to pneumatic pulse demons The Body, Full of Hell scrapes ideas from every corner in the extreme music space to fuel the iterative process of the twenty to thirty-minute burners that are their “full-length” releases. In the truest sense, this eclectic and thirsty act follows the crack of their own whip, but when it comes to the stage that bears only Full of Hell in title, the path steers a touch more straightforward, though not quite predictable. Nevertheless, with the dial cranked to grind and a color palette that screams anti-monochromatic, does Coagulated Bliss amass all the right parts?

In many ways Coagulated Bliss is the Full of Hell we’ve come to expect, its bleeding extremities of punch-and-cackle powerviolence (“Doors to Mental Agony”), playful industrial deathgrind (“Fractured Bonds to Mecca”), drag ’em bleeding sludge (“Bleeding Horizon”), and unshackled grindcore (“Vomiting Glass”) congealing into a boisterous sonic injection. However, much like higher-treble back half of 2021’s Garden of Burning Apparitions and the whole of 2022’s Aurora Leaking from an Open Wound continued, Full of Hell has adopted a stronger penchant for groove and noise rock-infused, treble-loaded licks. No, Full of Hell does not suddenly sound like Melvins or The Jesus Lizard, but this incorporation of twangy, tasty tunes does help them come across more like the barking, manic side of Today Is the Day on a mystery bag of pills with one labeled ‘grindcore’ (“Coagulated Bliss,” “Gelding of Man”).2 And though the average BPM may render a bit lower than the most aggressive Full of Hell releases, but that doesn’t stop them from sneaking in a Discordance Axis riff or six.

Coagulated Bliss by Full of Hell

A shift like this requires smart songwriting and a production job highlighting the force of new convictions. Freed from the chains of Kurt Ballou’s (Converge) hammering soundboard touch, both the growling lows and warm, twisting highs find new space to hook with vicious intent (“Half Life of Changelings,” “Coagulated Bliss”), ironically in the manner similar to 00s Converge classics like Jane Doe or Axe to Fall. And though Dave Bland’s (Jarhead Fertilizer) kit has remained reliably savage throughout Full of Hell’s catalog, booming industrial reverb cranks the assault of the most martial tracks (“Doors to Mental Agony,” “Fractured Bonds to Mecca,” “Gelding of Men”), and the traditionally speedy numbers, murderous cymbal crashes lay littered with interjecting tom scatters and cymbal drives that drill the ears with loving precision. Whether Full of Hell is channeling Thou (“Bleeding Horizon”) or Terrorizer (“Gasping Dust”), the space and pace of each moment feels natural in its intensity, a stark contrast to the oppressive landscape in which this band has previously existed.

However more approachable it may seem, Coagulated Bliss isn’t a turn toward the accessible. If anything, this breezier distillation of Dylan Walker’s paint-stripping shrieks and gutter punk tongue-lashing puts his inimitable incantations3 at the forefront in a frighteningly catchy way. With rhythms to which you could reasonably twerk, 4 it’s easier than ever to pick up a lyrics sheet and at least try to croak (inadvisably) along to the hypnotic swing of “Doors to Mental Agony” or provide the demonic guttural accompaniment to “Schizoid Rupture.” At first, this did make Ross Dolan’s (Immolation) punchy verse contribution on “Gasping Dust” and Jacob Bannon’s (Converge) goblin garble on “Malformed Ligature” feel like slightly lesser cuts. But with time and repeat exposure, the resplendence that Full of Hell can find in this soured worldview pours through these late-album swings all the same.

As a long-time enjoyer of Full of Hell, I’ve always hoped to come across one of their records that could feel like an ‘any day’ kind of jam. These contemporary torchbearers have always seemed to scoff at the notion though, with each of their efforts brimming and bursting with a talent so raw and crushing that the zig-zag experience would come across as impressive rather than attachable. Expansive in soundscape, focused in its weird expression, and reliable in foothold to the grind, Coagulated Bliss feeds a shredded, rocking, great time effortlessly.

Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: N/A | Format Reviewed: Stream
Label: Closed Casket Activities | Bandcamp
Website: fullofhell.com | fullofhell.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/fullofhell
Releases Worldwide: April 26th, 2024

The post Full of Hell – Coagulated Bliss Review appeared first on Angry Metal Guy.

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