Gourd - Moldering Aberrations (2019)
Coming at us from Ireland like an assault on auditory immune systems, the latest EP from the two-piece of Gourd brings just under half an hour of filthy doom-soaked sludge, packed into three tracks. Leading off with “Befoulment”, Gourd insinuate creeping despair under unsteadily rising bass reverb, with vocal howls bleeding their notes right into the morass of fragmenting sustain. Treading a rough path through the distortion and growls, the band finds their way on to “Mycelium”, which finds firmer footing in a persistent bass undertow while the vocals struggle through the haze. Broken with a few instances of spoken-word samples, the dark miasma and hard edges of the feedback form a compellingly antagonistic vibe, without even a hint of posturing or pretense behind the attitudes and emotions on display.
Lastly, the title track (the video for which you'll find at the bottom of this review) brings with it some of the most traditionally-structured rhythms to be found on the EP, though they're quickly dropped in favor of the more nebulous rasping and rumbling bellows. Keening abrasion and dissonance are bent to the music's purpose, and multiple twists in volume, along with the song-writing's directions, keep things strange and stimulating. As short as it is, it makes for a harrowing experience, and one which is deeply impressive.
For Fans Of; Body Void, Endless Floods, Leechfeast, Lifeless Gaze, Ulver