Dayton, OH outfit Close the Hatch return with their entrancing style of post-metal/experimental doom on new EP VI. The six-track offering follows up the band's 2016 EP, Death & Resistance, and finds Close the Hatch progressing their sound further than ever before. VI contains more sludge-infused rhythms, as well as ambient tones that seamlessly intertwine with their heavy, doom-filled approach. The recording is also their first written collaboratively as a band, which has broadened the range and diversity of the music.
The release starts off with "Purgatory," which features ringing guitars and ethereal tones against a taut drum pattern. The track transitions with fuzzy discordance and harsh vocals, creating a gloomy atmosphere that leads right into the abrasive "II." The EP incorporates delicate melodies within dense riffs flawlessly throughout, but it's especially captivating on "III," when the airy and graceful guitars pull the track out of its dark misery in the latter half. While the droning dissonance of "The Black Art of Knowing" takes on an eerie vibe during its more tranquil moments, the dynamics of "Little Did He Know" add a menacing quality to the EP. VI ends with the seven-minute title-track, which features layers of ambient noise and beautiful melodies that juxtapose the aggressive sludgy rhythms and coarse, ominous vocals.
Close the Hatch continue to evolve and mature with each release, and VI is no exception; the unpredictable, divergent sounds and the conflicting emotions they capture are thoroughly stimulating, and will leave you wanting more. (Red Moth Records)