Full of Hell, Nothing – When No Birds Sang

Closed Cascet Activities / LP/CD/DL / 2023

Anxious magazine Full of Hell, Nothing – When No Birds Sang

Full of Hell, despite its absolutely grinding core, sets up perfectly in unconventional configurations. This has been proven by two outstanding albums recorded with The Body duo, (Ascending a Mountain of Heavy Light is one of my all-time favorites) and a phenomenally extreme collaboration with Masami Akita, better known as Merzbow. It is obvious at first sight where my sympathies lie when it comes to When No Birds Sang, but I assure you that the roles of Nothing and Full of Hell are correctly assigned and should be treated equally here. The sound of both squads complement each other perfectly, creating a totally fucked-up charge of various emotions.

The Rose Tinted World track is so utterly perfect that the album could basically begin and conclude on this one. The roughness and aggression of Full of Hell meets the contemplative landscape of Nothing and that’s why you can find everything your heart craves, from grind and sludge to perfectly brutal, roaring (I had to make up a word in Polish to describe this one haha) noise. I think the only thing missing is a fiddler on the roof ;).

Forever Well is an old-school road roller. Static, confident and very warm sounding base becomes a pillar for a powerful monolith of a rock ballad structure, put through a technical death-metal filter. As I mentioned, this album is full of everything, as if someone ripped open Santa’s sack (sic!) and put all the presents on CD ;D. On the other hand, if I had to say which track sounds (looks really) exactly like the album cover, I’d point the finger at Wild Blue. Ambient, safe and soothing like staring at the sky, but despite the apparent stillness, somewhere, perfectly placed that one growl of a string triggers a sense of joyful anticipation.

Besides, this cutie also seems to prepare the ground pretty well for the mind-numbing vibrations of When No Birds Sang, whose compact construction closely associates to me a certain term, used in chemical terminology, the so-called “self vibration of molecules” – normal vibrations, if you prefer. How liberating is to realize that every molecule in my body keeps constantly moving, which completely rules out any stagnation in life. In your face! No wonder I’m so tired all the time. 

The number finale (there is no better term, complete premeditation) Spend The Grace garnered with a wonderfully dreamy, yet relentless snare drum quite literally crowns the work. It is true that the specter of pathos is dragging behind it, but it is so ephemeral that it completely fails to compromise the perfectly entangled fabric.

I realize that I have described all the bits and pieces in turn, except for the second one, which I somehow sleep through every time – it comes up as sheet-music to me then :P. Out of courtesy, I won’t mention it further here. Probably there will be a number of amateurs, however, these boots do not fit me. But there, now shush…

released December 1, 2023

Marta Podoska