“Of course, there’s a lot of misery. But it is the same misery that is all around us. The trees here are in misery…”
That’s a quote from Werner Herzog’s 1982 film Burden of Dreams. Herzog’s musings on the pain of the natural world are the first thing we hear on Trumpeting Ecstasy. Unsurprisingly, Herzog and Full of Hell have a lot in common. Much like Herzog, Full of Hell take it upon themselves to view human nature under a microscope and neither of them like what they’ve seen. The difference here is Herzog had some ideas as to why humanity is the way it is. With Full of Hell, humanity is in a tailspin because humans are shit. I can think of no better album to fit the deep-seeded sense of nihilism that is the year 2017.
This is, after all, an album that treats the lyrics “Man will always fail” as a hook. Grindcore has never been accused of being a feel-good genre, but it’s hard to think of gloomier band than Full of Hell. Full of Hell offers no solutions and seem to be competing with themselves to push out as much bleakness as they can. So, yes, grindcore is a perfect template for a band like Full of Hell. Their doomed soothsaying is delivered with blistering riffs and blast beats that are only set to destroy. In short, Trumpeting Ecstasy is a full on physical assault of grindcore savagery.
Oddly, this is a relatively straightforward album in terms of songwriting. On “Crawling Back to God”, one of the album’s numerous highlights, Full of Hell supply us with no shortage of memorable riffs and the stickiest hook you’re going to hear in grindcore this year. The cherry on top is the hook is bellowed by none other than post metal legend, Aaron Turner. The track also features bass credits from Kurt Ballou of Converge. But, the features don’t end there. The most surprising of all is Nicole Dollanganger’s stunning appearance on the title track.
Dollanganger’s light, ethereal vocals help create a perfectly eerie atmosphere and counterpoint for Dylan Walker’s unhinged vocal performance. Musically, the track is a slow industrial dirge unlike anything we’ve heard on the album. Nothing about it resembles grindcore. The track mechanically rumbles along feeling like it’s about to burst. Until it doesn’t. That’s what’s so effective about the track. Any great horror director will tell you the stillness is where it’s unsettling.
“Trumpeting Ecstasy” leads into the more grind oriented “At the Cauldron’s Bottom”. Despite the overwhelming sense of dread that leads, “At the Cauldron’s Bottom” almost feels celebratory. The album is full of catchy melodies, but “At the Cauldron’s Bottom” feels like they had humming and whistling in mind. But don’t get it twisted, there is still no sense of hope. Nor is there hopelessness. It seems as though, Full of Hell have found the cure to humanity’s ails after all. That cure being to gleefully lead the wicked down to the guillotine.
Listen via Spotify