Album Review: Garden of Burning Apparitions by Full of Hell (Relapse Records)

Back with their 5th studio album, the extreme metal band Full of Hell released Garden of Burning Apparitions on the 1st of October via Relapse Records.

Garden Of Burning Apparitions brings a genre-bending assault of hardcore, grind and death metal and sees Full of Hell expand upon the very elements that have propelled them to the forefront of extreme music.

Produced by Seth Manchester at Machines With Magnets in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Garden of Burning Apparitions also sees Full of Hell adding new dimensions to their warp-speed hellscape. Guitarist Spencer Hazard and bassist Sam DiGristine’s monstrous riffs now have an added noise-rock influence, while drummer Dave Bland commands the rhythm section at blazing speeds. Lyrically, Garden of Burning Apparitions sees vocalist Dylan Walker exploring religion, life’s impermanence and the fear that comes with knowing death is inescapable.

Garden of Burning Apparitions Full of Hell band

Speaking about their expanding sound, Dylan Walker states:  “I think it’s good that we tried not to pigeonhole ourselves early on. Because now, 10 years in, we have the opportunity to make whatever record we want, within reason, and people will follow along.”

Garden of Burning Apparitions is 12 tracks, or 21 minutes of madness starting with Guided Blight. From the off we descend into madness and chaos as extreme noise hits us straight in the face with blistering drums, distorted guitars and visceral gutturals. As is their style, it is over almost as soon as it has begun but manages to at the very least make you sit up and pay attention. The great thing about Full of hell though is that even within the most vicious, assaulting track, you pick out so many awesome components.

The guitars on the violent Asphyxiant Blessing are awesome and the huge chugging, distorted slow down is a real headbanging section. Murmuring Foul Spring has a doomy start that lulls you in before exploding into extreme death metal with insane drumming and vocals that sound like a straight up recording of the sounds of Hell on a Saturday night. Amongst the absolute carnage though, those guitars still slam and deliver the rhythm needed to enjoy the song for more than just the extremity.

Derelict Satellite is absolutely terrifying in its Hellish sounds. Fuzz, echo, distortion and every other angry effect imaginable combine to make a wall of industrial noise that brings you to the precipice of what a mind can cope with. Burning Apparition is almost a relief following Derelict Satellite despite still being aggressive and intense, it has a simpler pattern with a more death metal rhythm at parts, occasionally drifting into the more grind style.

Eroding Shell is a banger, dark and dirty sounding with expert drum switch ups, multi tone gutturals and a wicked riff. All Bells Ringing and Urchin Thrones continue the style with expansive riffing and interesting structures, hateful vocals and furious drumming all wrapped up in a blanket of fucking madness. Industrial Messiah Complex is another fiery banger with a massive headbanging section full of groove and aggression.

Reeking Tunnels has a noise rock feel to it with a bit of the chaos and pace stripped back for a simpler track. The guitars take the lead here mixing between an odd wavy line and a banging rock riff. The vocals still slap you hard and the intensity remains but it is really cool to see Full of Hell still expanding their sound and Reeking Tunnels is a cracking song.

We reach the end with the penultimate track, Non-Atomism, which is really just a 1 minute transition piece to move us from reeking Tunnels back into full insanity. Hellish screams, cut off noises, fuzz and distortion bring us back to being Full of Hell as we launch into the album closer, Celestial Hierarch.

Heavy as fuck, extreme in every sense, the guitars hold rhythm but are surrounded by insane drumming and demonic vocals to create a satisfying but chaotic sound. It is also the longest song on the album at over 3 minutes so we do get to see Full of Hell hit creative highs with a wonderfully horrible slow down with weird guitar tones and slow thunderous drums that slowly fade out leaving an ear piercing distorted squeal to get louder and louder until the end.

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Wow. Full of Hell really don’t mess about and Garden of Burning Apparitions is definitely not for the faint hearted. 5 studio albums in and while the band’s signature extreme death and grind sound is still prevalent and clear, it is awesome to see a band refuse to sit still. Instead adding more elements, growing and evolving as a band. It shows their appetite, their hunger and fans will love that and lap up the output.

Garden of Burning Apparitions is a mammoth album. Short, of course, intense and really fucking heavy but scratch beneath the surface just a little and you find creativity, exciting song structures and intriguing instrumentation. The vocals are brilliant, the drums and the guitars – everything. I didn’t expect to like this album as much as I do but it is really, very, very impressive.

Full of Hell are a beast of a band and Garden of Burning Apparitions is one of the finest and heaviest albums you are likely to hear this year despite definitely not being for everyone.

Garden of Burning Apparitions is out now on all the usual streaming platforms. Grab a physical copy from their label, Relapse, here.

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  • Brendan Fisher

    Owner/Editor/Writer/YouTuber - Heavy Metal and reading, two things I have always loved so they are the two areas you will find most of my reviews. Post apocalyptic is my jam and I always have a book on the go and have for decades now. From a metal perspective, age has softened my inadequacies and I now operate with an open mind, loving many bands from many sub genres but having a particular admiration for the UK underground scene. In my other time, when not focused on Dad duties and work, I try to support the craft beer movement by drinking as much of it as I can and you will also find me out on the streets, walking. I love walking, I love exploring new places and snapping nature photos as I go.

Album Review: Garden of Burning Apparitions by Full of Hell (Relapse Records)

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