Late to the Party: Hellish Form – Remains

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Artist: Hellish Form

Album: Remains

Label: Translation Loss Records

Release Date 25/05/2021

Country: United States

Here’s an album that I originally missed at its time of release but was lucky enough to stumble across months later. After hearing Hellish Form‘s debut full-length offering Remains I immediately fell in love and knew that I had to cover it. The album was released on May 25th on Translation Loss Records.

The band hail from the United States and formed in 2019, with this being their debut full-length album. I say band but there are only two members in Hellish Form, Jacob Lee on vocals, guitars, and bass and Willow Ryan on vocals, guitars, and synths. Collectively the members have been involved in Keeper, Skull Incision, Graven Maul, Elder Devil, Body Void, Atone and Devoid.

Together Jacob and Willow present us with a crushingly heavy and reverb laden blend of sludge, funeral doom and drone. However, I feel like calling this reverb laden is actually an understatement with how full and relentless the level of reverb is on this release. It almost feels like a wave that never crashes but just keeps washing over you back and forth incessantly without pause or relief. There are ebbs and flows of intensity but ultimately it never truly ceases.

Piercing through this wave are atmospheric synths and shrieked/screeched vocals. The vocals carry with them an inescapable level of raw emotion and when paired with the immersive synth elements really draw the listener in. Some of the soundscapes created with synth almost have an uplifting and optimistic feel to them. There’s a sort of warmth in the cold void that this album creates, a light shining through a crack in the wall into a dark room. This operates in stark contrast to the depressive and raw nature of the vocals and lyrics on the album.

On the topic of lyrics, they definitely sit within the expected content of a funeral doom band, focusing on topics of depression, sorrow, loss and death as can be seen below from track 3 Shadows With Teeth:

“I wash ashore

A corpse dressed for

A prolonged funeral

The rest of my life

The shadows with teeth

Close in behind

I’m both alive and dead

The wound never healed

I was murdered over time

Drained

Trauma is a knife

It cuts to the other side

More than flesh

It takes more than life”

The guitar work on the album is heavily present but the number of notes actually played are minimal, rather letting themselves linger in distortion and slowly trail off as the next one appears. The drum work on the release is equally as minimalistic making each hit or crash that much more impactful.

Overall, the band have created something truly special here. This is some of the best use of lingering notes and reverb that I have seen in some time. If you enjoy crushingly heavy and raw yet minimalistic music, then this is the album for you.

Listen to and order the album:

Bandcamp




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