Ghold – PYR (Ritual Productions)

Genre: Sludge/Noise Rock

Londoners Ghold may now be a trio – having added the guitarwork of Oliver Martin to their drum and bass driven murk –  but that hasn’t diminished their unconventional, uncompromising take on urban sludge. PYR, their third full length, is arguably even less accessible than last year’s Of Ruin, with the band plunging us into some hellish noisescapes and drowning their listeners under heaving, leaden waves of sonic slurry.  This is extremely difficult to digest, but isn’t without reward to the patient connoisseur.

On songs like Blud, for instance the band sound like a cacophonous, warped version of The Melvins, while on CCXX they drag a riff from the depths of the earth and mould it into a towering monolith, albeit one which sways to a primitive, clanking groove.

Despert Thrang, though, sees Ghold at their most ambitious. Clocking in at 21 minutes-plus, it shifts from crashing distortion to unnerving, ritualistic vocals and unsettling atmospherics to a steaming lava flow of low-end riffery.

And in truth, that track is what makes PYR stand out: Ghold don’t do things the easy way, and deserve credit for trying to realise their vision, however blurry it is.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10 Ghold Standard