E.P. Review: Guhts - Blood Feather
Reviewed by Robbie Maguire
Understated yet sonically dominant and the ability to be emotionally crushing. Whilst that short summary could describe ‘Blood Feather' by Guhts it would do this four track EP a severe disservice by not highlighting how the New York based band have harnessed and effortlessly injected their sheer power and emotional heft over twenty enthralling minutes.
The vice like grip from which the drums usher in ‘Eyes Open' never lets up. Drums with a feel? A character of sorts and from sampled ones at that. The long drawn out languid chords inject a sense of calm and one that through the repetition makes for a surprisingly easy listen straight away. It’s the whirling, lingering sounds in the background that radiate through and not only engage the ear but the heart. What Guhts do carries a striking emotional clout without pulling on the heartstrings though. Far from that, Guhts appeal is their clear vision that music can be compelling, deep and dark whilst somehow letting some serenity shine through.
Collasal swathes of structured noise rocks back and forth in the doomy industrial ‘Handless Maiden'. A dense hypnotic march, with the bass so weighty amid sprawling guitars dancing buoyantly over the top. A distinct mystique is punctuated by the wailing almost shamanic impacting, visceral screams which magnify the unease yet wholly retain ones focus.
The gentle reverb blessed keys and shimmering hazy guitar of ‘The Mirror' offers up a dreamlike ethereal quality. The beguiling clean vocals of Amber Burns reveal another string to this EP, an ever rewarding bow. A bow that on repeated listens further yields moments of cascading post metal brilliance. The Electro elements and keys infuse a touch of glowing brightness in amongst the bruising riffs.
Dripping in the commanding and soaring post metal prowess 'The Forest' is as alluring as it is disturbing. Orchestrated by the darkness and conviction of the bass, such is the slow burn impact you cant helped but be drawn Into the sprawling, dense unease of this desolate cinematic soundscape. The closing track unfolds itself over ten engaging minutes dealing hefty blows to the midrif from the seismic shifts erupting from the rumbling bass and crushing riffs. Yet amongst this increasing cascading sludgy force is a delicate emotional connection created in part by the ranging vocals. Piercing screams play with cleaner moments and deep harrowing cries all combine and layers and depth are unleashed.
This is testament to the craft and the ability to create multi layered, all encompassing visceral songs without ever over thinking or complicating the outcome. Guhts strike a balance between the gruelling relentless march of the songs with the delicate, subtle nuances that scatter these songs.
‘Blood Feather' is an (un) easy listening type of release. It’s darkness is not suffocating but very present. One will easily become engrossed in the rhythmic hypnotism yet still feel as though there is a very physical reaction occurring. That’s the simple mark and gauge of wonderful impacting music. It has an effect an these four songs will certainly affect you in the way heavy music should.