On a hot and sticky September evening in Bristol, in the small, and awkwardly lain out Exchange the extreme metal harsh noise line up of Full Of Hell, Jar Head Fertilizer, Antichrist Siege Machine and Unyielding Love is an absolute sweltering sweat fest, who’d a thunk it.
Given the rave reviews from attendees as well as others from around the country we can safe assuredly say had we witnessed the Irish lads harsh noise we would no doubt be saying watch this space, instead, fuck you South West traffic and coach delays!
It could be due to reeling from the disappoint of missing Unyielding Love as well as expecting an entirely different band up next but, apparently, Anti-Christ Siege Machine swapped with Jar Head Fertilizer to fill the second slot. So it is hard to get in the zone for the tumultuous tornado of blackened death/ war metal of the two-piece from Richmond Virginia
It is funny how things work out, having been chomping at the bit with anticipation to see the devilish destruction of brutal vocals, machine gun drumming and down-tuned, lightning speed guitar all which result in a frantic industrial sound with a constant pummeling, fist pumping background. But they ended up not hitting all the right spots. Expectations based on their recordings, and having seeing them live earlier in the year sees them as a potential highlight of this show. However, in comparison to the other acts they are a little lacklustre and missing their usual oomph. The oft bombastic waves of the cacophony almost wash over rather than crashing in the face. It is impressive how a two piece can make such a racket with a drum/vocalist and guitar set up colliding rather than blending the blackened sound of tremolos and blast beats with more brutal death chugging but when they really get going, or possibly when the right zone is reached they are suddenly over and It is all a bit, blink and you miss it.
Jarhead Fertilizer amp up the aggressive atmosphere and aural assault by a watt or two, the drawn-out death growls from guitarist Brandon Brown are beyond guttural and so inhumanely low they could come from something that has been dragged from the depths of hell into a swirling mass of insanity. The first drumming duty of the night from powerhouse drummer and second vocalist David Bland equals a playful, barbaric onslaught of stop and start blast beats, it is a bass heavy sound with discordant rumbling riffs that also flirts with a cheeky, dirty groove. ”Silence the Narc” from the prison and revenge focused Product of My Environment maintains a trudging brutal death/slam rhythm and there are moments where the pace speeds up and they hark back to their grind core days. The tone and ominous growls do become a little repetitive, and (in comparison to the other bands on the bill) are slight lacking in dynamics. Overall though, they are tight as fuck, and the crowd especially love the grind core turned brutal death theme.
Opening with the explosive ‘Halogen Bulb, Full of Hell light up The Exchange with an explosion of cacaphonic chaos. Another barrage of blistering beats from hero Bland and this time there are more speedy drum rolls and fills, these are accompanied by a sonic assault of distortion cranked riffs along with his unhinged snarls and growls – vocalist Dylan Walker fucks with electronic gadgets to make punishingly harsh noise, this includes playing, or blowing into a device that is like a kind of kazoo meets breathalyser meets tiny electronic saxophone. He possesses all the energy of an angsty hurricane and whips the audience up into a storm as the raging quartet rip through tracks off a majority of their discography. What is enthralling about Full of Hell is their mind bending fuckery with dynamics, pace, and pitch changes, and it is indeed a varied, tightly controlled, and complicated but organically chaotic set of straight up screeching grind and power violence.
The latter is broken up with Walkers experimental, boundary pushing electronics, especially in the terrifyingly bizarre lurching and glitching ‘Burning Apparition.’ There are moments of slow, menacing, drawn out, doomy breakdowns that build on the ominous tension in the air which is then broken by another ferocious attack of sonic pandemonium.
For the final track, ‘Gnawed Tongues’ they are joined by Unyielding Vocalist Richard Carson who brings another level of insanity to the already rabid crowd, his and Walkers dualling howls are abrasive enough to shred the skin of your face and the crowd react accordingly. By the finale everyone is drenched in sweat, some members end the set by ripping apart their various instruments so of course any begging for an encore is redundant. It is a disappointingly early finish, but the band have given all they have and more. Distorted, discordant, disconcerting, disturbing disorientating discombobulation is the best way to sum up Full of Hell tonight. They always bring the fucking noise, but this was something else. Music that fucks with your ears, your rhythm, and your soul – that will chew you up and spit you out to leave a grinning, gormless fool behind.
Words and Images: Abi Coulson // Darktones Photography