Album Review: Gloam – “Death is the Beginning” EP

Gloam - Death Is the Beginning

Sometimes a band comes out of nowhere and slams you with an unexpected impact.  That was Gloam for me last year with their debut full length Hex of Nine Heads, a fully charged battery of vicious dynamic black metal.  I wasn’t expecting anything else for a while, so while it’s almost too brief a stay, I’m more than happy to put their new EP Death is the Beginning on repeat as many times as needed to get through the day.  

Listening to their 2012 demo and Vanquished EP from 2014 you’d swear this group was a direct descendant of the second wave, and not some dudes who got together in California less than a decade ago.  This makes the creative and technical leap taken with Hex of the Nine Heads even more exciting, as the band upped the interplay of other genres – particularly doom and thrash – without diluting the solid foundation of black metal the entire is built on.  You would expect (and need) this kind of ebb and flow on lengthier tracks like the massive “Where Freezing Winds Forever Blow” but it’s evident in the shorter tracks like “Execration Trance” as well.  And it’s this kind of back and forth that gets emphasized on Death is the Beginning.

Although it’s titled “Anguish (Intro)” the opening track blossoms (yeah, I used “blossom” to describe a black metal record – have at it) from the picked doom chords into something much more sinister, beckoning an invitation to the fury to come.  At over 3 minutes it might be a little too long of an introduction to the two proper songs, but the mood is most definitely served.  By the time you get to the pick slide of “…Of a Carrion Kind” we’ve moved into full-blown Gloam territory, with sickening lead lines trading off with a storm of buzzing rhythm guitars and drums underneath.  In that regard it’s an inverted reflection of the closing title track, which emphasizes the doom and more brooding aspects while the black metal accentuates and serves as counterpoint.

Gloam_bandphoto_haulix
Gloam

It’s altogether too brief a taste of an ascending band, but the brevity of Death is the Beginning just leaves you wanting more. Here’s hoping whatever Gloam does next comes sooner rather than later.

-Chris


Death is the Beginning is available October 13 via Blood Harvest.  For more information on Gloam check out their Facebook page.

One thought on “Album Review: Gloam – “Death is the Beginning” EP

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s