So Hideous Last Poem/First Light

So HideousLast Poem/First Light
Back when this NYC-based quartet were still known as So Hideous, My Love, their debut EP, To Clasp A Fallen Wish With Broken Fingers, created an unexpected stir. Their combination of black metal, post-hardcore and orchestral elements made a deep impression on the metal scene, their emotional authenticity and virulence slashing eardrums and breaking hearts. After truncating their moniker, the group are back with a full-length that's just as well executed and even more impressive and expansive than their debut. Last Poem/First Light, which was recorded with the First Light Orchestra for an even lusher and nuanced classical sound, is an emotionally devastating piece of violence that creates moments of aching beauty, only to demolish them under the white-hot treads of blackened hardcore. The songs are tight, merciless, well-written variations on devastation, and Chris Cruz's vocals deteriorate and intensity as the record unfolds, becoming steadily rawer and more unhinged. "My Light" soars before it fractures, and the ecclesiastical beauty of "Glory" swings between the transcendent and terrible. If you're in great need of having your heart stabbed by a flaming sword, So Hideous will do so exquisitely well. (Independent)