Holodomor – Témoignages de la Gnose Terrestre (self-released, 2012)

Hot on the heels of Satanic Bloodspraying, another brief, brutal ‘n’ bad-ass chunk of metal has landed on my doorstep in the form of Holodomor’s self-released Témoignages de la Gnose Terrestre EP (henceforth referred to as TDLGT).  Hailing from the UK but named after a genocidal man-made famine that swept the Ukraine from 1932 to 1933, these Englishmen bring the kind of musical pain that lives up to such a name across sixteen-odd minutes of pure massacre.

Mixing aspects of black, death and thrash metal in such a way that one might expect them to hail from Canada or Australia rather than the UK, Holodomor are as fantastically filthy, ugly and primitive as it gets, yet they also understand the importance of riffs, solos and songwriting.  Three of the five tracks that make up TDLGT are less than three minutes long, and they’re absolutely explosive, wasting no time whatsoever in inflicting a barrage of metallic ultra-violence, while the two (slightly) longer tracks are barbaric mini-epics.  Holodomor somehow manage to cram more blood-boiling excitement into these brief salvos than most bands muster over the course of an hour-long album.  I’ve seen these guys getting saddled with the war metal tag, and I suppose that might be somewhat accurate considering their relentless intensity, but to these ears TDLGT has a hell of a lot more going for it beyond the hammering monotony that characterizes the average war metal band (die-hard edition limited picture discs and all).

I hate to use the word technical, but one does get the distinct impression from listening to TDLGT that Holodomor know their way around their instruments.  The band possesses a wicked sense of dynamics, and this combined with their penchant for speed and overwhelming ferocity means there’s never a dull moment.  Production-wise, TDLGT is rough around the edges; the guitars cut like rusty buzzsaws without devolving into Swe-death ripoff territory, while the drums possess an earthy, “live” quality.  The vocals are positively unhinged, which goes well with manic pacing and abrasive sonics.

I’m not sure how easy it is to get ahold of Témoignages de la Gnose Terrestre here in the US (the fine folks at Godz ov War Productions sent me this copy to review), but I highly recommend it to anyone seeking a more sophisticated (you know, with songs you can actually tell apart) take on the bestial black/death style of metal that labels like Nuclear War Now! and Hells Headbangers typically revel in.  According to Metal Archives the band are now signed to Iron Bonehead, so perhaps it won’t be long before they unleash some fresh hell with a full length.  Definitely one to watch.

Listen to “Fall into Time” below.

http://holodomor.co.uk/

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