Tuesday 7 November 2017

GHOLD - STOIC (Album Review)

Release date: November 03rd 2017. Label: Crypt Of The Wizard Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Stoic - Tracklisting

1.Nothing Dreamt 08:48
2.Blue Robe 03:54
3.Ruptured Earth (Head In Sand) 06:11
4.Faeder Ure 04:12
5.SKHUL V 08:07
6.SKHUL VI 12:09


Alex Wilson: Bass guitar, Piano, Percussion, Vocal
Paul Antony: Drums, Percussion, Programming, Vocal
Oliver Martin: Guitar, Keys, Percussion, Vocal


UK Psych/Sludge Rockers - Ghold - return with their new album - Stoic. This sees the band return with a more offbeat and experimental offering compared to their previous albums. Adapting a more Melvins style approach with their music. Stoic is deliriously heavy with moments of Sludge driven Noise/Doom/Psych Experimental Rock Music allowing Ghold once again to stand out from the crowd.

Opening track Nothing Dreamt is nine minutes of dark twisted sludge/doom metal madness. Even with the song being primarily a Doom/Sludge Metal song it's good to see Ghold embracing a more Post-Punk sound. It allows Ghold to be heavy and restrained at the same time. The vocals from are vastly different from previous albums and the psychedelic noises only offer a brief glimpse in what is to follow.

Second track Blue Robe opens with post-rock/ambient sound with earthly vocals being sung in the background. This is a stark contrast to the opening track even when Ghold start to add heavier strands of music to party. The song has an eighties synth vibe that would feel right at home on a classic Michael Mann film such as Thief or Manhunter. A very gloomy and abstract song that makes you wonder which direction this album is heading into next. This is one of the best tracks on the album. It's not the heaviest but it's quite emotional in places and shows you how daring Ghold are with their music.

Third track Ruptured Earth (Head In Sand) returns Ghold to the forefront of their Doom/Sludge sound but with a more industrialized feel. Not quite Godflesh but it almost goes down that route. The vocals and lyrics work superbly well with the fast-paced and distorted music Ghold create here. There are even a few cool riffs to head-bang to as well.

The second half of the album sees Ghold continue their weird experimental journey into new levels of heaviness for the band with fourth track Faeder Ure being a more doom/drone track that doesn't offer any genuine excitement. Though the album returns to winning ways with the two part combination of SKHUL V & SKHUL VI offering twenty two minutes of finely tuned experimental Doom/Sludge Metal.

It may take some time for the heavy riffs to appear but Ghold expertly build up the anticipation for some of the albums heaviest and standout moments. Ghold have never released the same album twice. Each album they've released so far has all sound so vastly different to each other. it seems Ghold want to explore as many different musical avenues they possibly can.

On this form I hope they carry on as Stoic is perhaps their best album to date. Let’s see what the next album brings..

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Lauren at Rarely Unable for the promo. Stoic is available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl via Crypt Of The Wizard Records.