Godhole – Godhole (UK, 2014) by Rizzo

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This self-titled double EP released December 2014 is the debut work for UK-based powerviolence trio Godhole, coming from Edinburgh.
May I say it is actually quite a “concept” double EP, and an artistically interesting one as well in my opinion.
There are literally two different faces for the album, respectively side A and B, and the whole concept is based upon the theme of madness and mental illness.
There is in fact a quite dramatic story behind this release: in 2007 the younger brother of frontman Jamie Christ (guitar and vocals), suffering from mental illness, took his own life at age 17.
In Jamie’s words, he was a prolific artist and musician and he left lots of material.
Years later, Jamie decided to go through his brother’s lyrics all over again to better understand what he was feeling. Then, as a sort of catharsis, he came up with the idea to put his earlier work into what came to be this frantic EP.
That idea came especially from a single verse he had apparently written not long before his suicide. That verse was deconstructed, and each part became a song title. Then more specifically, the lyrics for each song were written to carry both Jamie’s perspective about his brother’s suicide and that of his brother himself, based upon his past writings. Definitely an interesting way to release such a dramatic experience into art.
I remind you that lyrics are available in the digital version of the EP too, which by the way is online for “name your price”, that means free or up to your donation.
Apart from this clear and heartfelt homage to the memory of Jamie’s brother, the content of the EP also explains why the band decided to devolve all album donations to the Scottish Association of Mental Health.

As I ran over on before, the double EP has two complementary sides, A and B, presenting the same song titles but being completely different one another, musically speaking.
Side A brings the grind\powerviolence sounds you would expect, while side B carries the unexpected atmospheric electro\noise\ambient face of the album, and has on average longer track lengths than the other side.
I had a brief talk with Jamie, and he explained these two clashing sides would symbolize a sort of catharsis through madness, hence its resolution. While side A would represent madness in its course, side B would bring rawer expression of emotion in representing its release.
I’ll now go through the tracks one side at a time, showing a brief comparison between the changes in the most significant ones from side to side.

Side A (grind, powerviolence)

This side brings driving, intense powerviolence that will absolutely make you headbang with its heavy breakdowns. The trio is definitely able to give an impression of madness!
I personally found “Emerald Youngster” to be the “sludgiest” tune and “Diamond Scar” to be the most atmospheric and articulated. It is in fact the longest track on side A.
My standout track for this side would be “Ruby Bizarre” for its sheer intensity. The song lasts just about thirty seconds but will hit you like an avalanche of rim shots and blast beats.

Side B (atmospheric electro\noise\ambient)

This side presents overall longer tracks than the previous one on average, and brings original electro\noise\ambient soundscapes, as I would try to describe them.
The recurrent elements of this side are noisy atmospheres with distant clouded beats, along with screams or whispers according to the pace of the track.
I’d like to point out the cross-reference between the two versions of “Emerald Youngster”, which presents here a soothing, melodic atmosphere with whispering voices and would represent -in Jamies’ words- “the release of death” and “Ruby Bizarre”, which is once again the shortest but most intense track, representing “pure fury” in form of undiluted harsh noise.
My standout track for this side would be “Diamond Scar” for its psychedelic atmosphere brought by an acoustic guitar drowned in delay.
In addition, “Atrocious Forgotten” brings some breakcore elements with its pumping bass kick.
I really enjoyed the album as well as I appreciated its artistic concept, and I hope Godhole will continue on this path of experimentation.

Tracklist
Side A

  1. Glorious Rotten
  2. Emerald Youngster
  3. Atrocious Forgotten
  4. Diamond Scar
  5. Eternal Poisonous
  6. Ruby Bizarre
  7. Never Healing Gold

Side B

  1. Glorious Rotten
  2. Emerald Youngster
  3. Atrocious Forgotten
  4. Diamond Scar
  5. Eternal Poisonous
  6. Ruby Bizarre
  7. Never Healing Gold

Links
Facebook
Bandcamp

MindRipper Collective
Facebook
Bandcamp

Suggested albums
Vermin Womb – Permanence (USA, 2014)


Nails – Abandon All Life (USA, 2013)


Dragged Into Sunlight – Widowmaker (UK, 2012)


Plebeian Grandstand – Lowgazers (France, 2014)

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