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CD review: HULL, "Sole Lord"

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solelord(Full disclosure: HULL are bros of the MI crew. Unfortunately, their music also happens to rule.)

Hullking (sorry) out of Brooklyn onto The End Records' roster of shitkickers, Hull have a post-metal sound that will rope in fans of ISIS and NEUROSIS, as well as those who find the former too ambient and the latter too jumbled. Sole Lord is an exercise in grandiosity that never feels drawn out, and one of the most promising debuts of the year so far.

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The distant smattering of chords that opens "Innocence" gives way to something that sounds like music that dinosaurs would face extinction to, a stomping, plodding din that one could expect to hear during the destruction of a planet. Elsewhere, Hull dives into the stoner metal desert on "Deliverance" and "Healer," knocking out double guitar assaults over a paced but unpredictable rhythm section. Sole Lord is pretty in places, with jazz-inspired, sometimes almost flamenco-sounding interludes accentuating the potency of the wordless doom-metal of "Wrath of the Sands" or 7-minute centerpiece "Architect," which sounds like THE MELVINS tacking three Druid hymns together. Sole Lord's mix can be distractingly raw (it might be the only metal album you hear this year that could benefit from more compression,) but the weight, range and balls of the music are always audible.

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