So Hideous

Album Title: 
Last Poem / First Light
Release Date: 
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Review Type: 

The Brooklyn-based quartet (Brandon and Chris Cruz, Danny Moncada and Etienne Vazquez) So Hideous are one of the most exciting surprises I met lately. The band, formed in 2008, debuts with Last Poem / First Light, which was originally self-released last year, but now it gets a proper promotion after signing to Prosthetic’s roster earlier this year. Apparently there were two EP’s before, released as So Hideous, My Love (original band name it was!), by the way.

This debut was recorded at The Wild Arctic Studio with engineer Dean Baltulonis, whom you might recognize from his work with Modern Life Is War or Lucero, and the mastering was taken care of by nobody else but Scott Hull (think: Kylesa, Unearthly Trance, Exhumed, Sunn O))), Lair Of The Minotaur and tens of others). And I will start with a major turn-off: this album lasts for thirty two minutes. Why, oh why, because this should last for at least twice as long.

What So Hideous bring nowadays is a mostly atmospheric form of grim and intense Black Metal with an orchestral approach, yet not of the gothic-poppy kind at all. It’s rather related to the Funeral and Suicidal scenes, despite the epic and bombastic sound. Also the so-called Post-Core (or Post-Hardcore, if you want) genre comes to mind, albeit seen from the most eerie, obscure point of view. Mind this: the album is composed by the band in co-operation with a classical orchestra / choir (I cannot but mention them: The First Light Orchestra), but as said before this did not turn the whole into a poppy-symphonic quasi-lethargic pulp. It’s theatrical, but of the most divine kind! The tremolo melodies are superb, and so are the well-composed tempo-changes, the surprising breaks, the aggressive vocals, the atmospheric intermezzos…; seriously, this album is a great yet dark-intense experience which will please every morbid soul.

I often come up with reviews with an average to pretty extensive length; only once in a while I restrict myself. Now I am just going to shut up. I just tell you: listen to this stuff, let it penetrate your soul, and dream away (though it won’t deal with flowers and playing kittens)…