Music is emotion, right? A visceral thing that’s not easily explained. It can be a true feel-good experience, or then again, something scary. Now, the RMR crew unearthed some truly dark and evil artists during our tenure. Psychopaths, like the ones that would kill people, had they not started to make music that greedily feeds their blackened and charred souls. And, in truth, some1) won’t ever make it onto the ‘zine – even if we have their files and numbers on record.
There are others, of course. But still, no creatures of the light, mind you. Bands that create great, wicked records. Unholy outfits producing a scary brand of emotion that will leave you unnerved, to say the least. And once they add moving pictures to the bloodlust, things really get dreadful. A deep-seated sense of horror that won’t only haunt your nightmares. But, it will make you come back for seconds time and again, like some horrible addiction you cannot shake.
Now, the folks over at GLDN will probably scoff at that genre-bound garbage. Their debut EP First Blood claims to be darker than dark. A piece, filled to the brim with “…underlying aggression…”, culminating in a delivery that’s “…abrasive and palatable…” and at the same time “…powerful and sublime…”. There you go, something that should incite our discomfort to new levels, to paraphrase more of that prose.
Also, the band seems to sail on a multitude of influences. And some movies, like the age-old Suspiria.2) You know, the gory multicolor witch tale that – indeed – got us some deliciously gruesome shudders back in time.
And that’s all great. But, instead of some truly discomforting vibes, First Blood feels like some crazed Darkwave outing after the drugs ran out. It comes with experimental tracks that run hot on industrially-tainted psych passages. And more often than not, the record overheats on its punk roots that clearly prefer its crusty cuts. Then garnish that with a slice of noize on the side and some electro-pop from time to time. And – at unexpected moments – it will almost cross over into grunge territory. Almost.
So, did First Blood hook us to our earphones over at the office suite? An emotional bombshell that will keep us unhinged and frightened? No, not quite. This all seems to be a tepid mess of different ideas. There’s dramatic hollering, darkly mumbled monologues, and punkish screaming galore. All of that comes on some rough ‘n’ dirty riffing that we all heard somewhere else before. In fact, only Parasite – the last track – actually showed some limited promise – if only that. So, there you go
In other words, the little blurb left our merciless metal hearts stone cold. No connection to feel “…underlying aggression…”, no need to pump up the volume. No darkness here that tried to suck us into its bottomless depths. Even if we appreciated the no-frills, straight-to-the-jugular approach of GLDN‘s gory platter.
And the verdict? First Blood is reasonably dramatic, but for sure not evil enough. And the piece is so devoid of emotion, it couldn’t even frighten the ghost of my grandmother, and she’s a jittery one. So, GLDN, try again. Perhaps next time, you’ll be able to unnerve us a bit better. We’ll attend to some truly scary metal until you’re back with more.
Ed’s note: Oh, and if you don’t know what scary, unhinged, utterly brutal metal is, try this. There’s still worse, of course. But you gotta start somewhere, right?
Label: Self-Released | Web: Official Band Site
Release Date: 22 July 2022