It's hard to believe it's been four years since Full of Hell put out their last album, Rudiments of Mutilation. But that doesn't mean they've been lagging; the Maryland/Pennsylvania quartet have been releasing music consistently over the past few years, including collaboration albums with noise artist Merzbow and avant-garde sludge duo the Body. Now, the band return to their own vision with Trumpeting Ecstasy.
The new LP's 11 tracks feature the band's distinctly diverse sound, while they evolve more into extreme metal realms, showcasing their progression since 2013's Rudiments. The album still incorporates various influences (grind, powerviolence, death, black metal, etc.) and is as dark and intense as ever; tracks like "Deluminate" and "Fractured Quartz" contain their recognizable assaulting tone and Dylan Walker's dynamic, terrifying vocals.
However, Trumpeting Ecstasy is much more focused than some of their previous material, as songs like "The Cosmic Vein" and "Ashen Mesh" feature thoughtful structures beneath all of the layers of chaos. "Crawling Back to God" and "At the Cauldron's Bottom" feature guest vocals from Aaron Turner (Isis/Old Man Gloom/Sumac) and Nate Newton (Converge/Old Man Gloom), respectively, which add more colour to the record. Stellar production from Converge's Kurt Ballou also gives Trumpeting Ecstasy a sharp, yet harsh, quality.
The album surprisingly dials back some of the more pronounced noise elements you'd expect from Full of Hell, but it doesn't feel as though anything is missing, especially with the abrasive title track. The song features a beat provided by the Body's Lee Buford and stunning vocals from Canadian singer/songwriter Nicole Dollanganger, which create a stark dichotomy that is both deeply threatening and captivatingly ethereal.
Trumpeting Ecstasy is the culmination of Full of Hell really coming into their own, exuding the confidence that comes along with refining their stylistic approach and honing their sound into something that is completely theirs. (Profound Lore)