Full Of Hell – Rudiments Of Mutilation
Label: A389 Records
Full Of Hell are exactly that, a four-man hate machine that throws pure bile and fury at your senses, and have been grabbing themselves an impressively big reputation in the worldwide powerviolence/hardcore ‘scene’. Powerviolence is known as an extreme, but Full Of Hell have taken it further and further in their fairly short existence so far by strengthening the power electronics influence with each release. If you’re into something faster, heavier and involving far more disgusting vocals than your average hardcore band, then Full Of Hell are for you.
The band have been extremely busy so far, releasing a load of splits (with Code Orange Kids, Mike IX’s The Guilt 0f…, Goldust and Calm The Fire) and EPs – they’ve also been known to produce noise/power electronic releases from time to time too. “Rudiments Of Mutilation” is their second full-length release, following “Roots Of Earth Are Consuming My Home”, and it’s a totally different beast. The main thing that hits you on this new release is the heavy Man Is The Bastard influence – both the testing power electronics and bass-heavy sludginess – that’s instantly apparent from the first track alone.
Dichotomy opens with static feedback that grows and shrinks for a while before vocalist Dylan joins in with his signature retching screams and growls, with lines like “Repugnant in its ugliness / The dichotomy of all that is lush and rotten” and “We weep with guilt”. The whole atmosphere, already, is that of both mourning and disgust, and drummer Dave Bland joins in with almost warm-up improvisation with snare rolls and random cymbals. Soon, the feedback intensifies and reaches that classic MITB warped sound: you basically know you’re in for some harsh stuff already.
Second track Vessel Desserted continues with that same feedback for a second or two and the band throw themselves into a hardcore burst, not long before they come to an abrupt sludge crawl as the lyrics “There is nothing that can take what is dead” (with variants of the same line repeated) are roared. Then the more powerviolent burst comes in at the end, setting up for the following track Coven Of The Larynx really well, a track that basically features the more straightforward Full Of Hell sound for little over a minute. Dylan also pulls off some really black metal sounding screeches, which are absolutely vicious!
Throbbing Lung Fiber again is just a short, sharp shock of stampeding drums, flurrying guitar, rumbling bass and filthy vocals. The slightly off-kilter timing between the two vocals are a nice touch too, especially with lines like “Reaching for their mothers in vacuous pain / Eyes shine, wax and wane.” The lyrical themes of pain, slavery and death are just so raw and clear that it makes you feel uncomfortable, which is probably the intention.
The album takes a slight dip at this point as Indigence And Guilt follows a similar instrumental path, veering more towards hardcore punk this time, but still getting a little too familiar at this point – although the “C’est la vie, c’est la mort” sections are almost, well, catchy? Embrace switches things up a little bit, providing tribal drums over feedback and bass, while Dylan lethargically moans and slurs along in a spoken word manner. The whole Man Is The Bastard jam feel is very heavy in the track.
Then comes The Lord Is My Light – the longest track at 4:21 – which throws itself more into a straight-up sludge progression with its slow tempo and reverberating bass and guitar. The mix is just so dirty and filthy that you could swear the instruments must be covered in grunge. At one point, Dylan goes into a repetition of “Hatred grows” while the guitar/bass make vicious stabs that really weigh down on you. Possibly the heaviest moment on the album. It also closes with frustrated screaming, “They won’t take me, but I can take myself / I can take myself / I want out”, and leaves you feeling pretty annihilated… or exorcised.
Bone Coral And Brine again picks up the tempo, alternating between bursts of outrage and the familiar dawdling ‘spoken word’ passages, where they arguably push the darkest limits of their lyrics with the likes of “With new orifices made, they shudder with relief”. Then the title track comes along, and has the balance of the hardcore and sludge moments, and has this nice guitar line from 55-seconds onwards, feeling like a sort of farewell. The final track In Contempt Of Life continues with the motion that the title track ended with the drums, except a rise in feedback comes back again and Dylan proceeds to retch over it all – basically a full circle, returning to the style of Dichotomy.
As a whole, “Rudiments Of Mutilation” is solid, it’s not something that you can just throw on for background noise, otherwise you may as well not listen to it at all. The progression (and regression) throughout the album is a sickening rollercoaster of human depravity and anxiety. Full Of Hell may just have created their most emotionally intense release with this, and it’s going to be interesting how they’ll follow it when they release their next full-length.
So, while some of these tracks aren’t that memorable individually, the album in its entirety feels like a natural and grinding flow of feral hatred. The tracks of “Rudiments Of Mutilation” don’t really grab too much attention by themselves, but the album itself is a solid, consistent dose of powerviolence and should appeal to any fan of the genre.
If you’re looking for a 2013 release that will push your senses and bludgeon your mind, then this is your album.
Favourite tracks: The Lord Is My Light, Indigence And Guilt, Embrace.