Full of Hell remain at their creative peak, harnessing the best from the mountain of their recent collaborations on Coagulated Bliss.

Release date: April 26, 2024 | Closed Casket Activities | Bandcamp | Instagram | Facebook

Since 2017’s landmark Trumpeting Ecstasy, a new Full of Hell album has usually meant you’ll know what you’ll get. A stylishly brutal and mind-bogglingly fast amalgamation of grindcore, powerviolence and death metal with sprinklings of noise apart from a surprise or two. Don’t get me wrong, this is no criticism of a band who are one of the most unique in heavy music and have been for well over a decade, but going in to Coagulated Bliss my mind was already mostly made up that it would be brilliant if expected. In fact, on their 6th non-collaborative album they feel at their most open and intriguing.

Last year’s collaboration with Nothing When No Birds Sang opened them up to more of the gorgeous and otherworldly sounds akin to the Lingua Ignota featuring “Armory of Obsidian Glass” from 2019’s Weeping Choir while the split with California legends Gasp was a much more ambient affair than expected. Last year’s other collaboration saw a pummeling and oppressive offering with Primitive Man. With Coagulated Bliss it feels as if they’ve been collecting pieces like a deranged corvid, putting together a maniacal jigsaw from their closest friends and the deepest holes of their influences. The result is as fast, frenetic and chaotic as you can always expect but the tones and styles within it are beyond the pale for even one of the most experimental bands in the scene.

Musically, Coagulated Bliss is the most varied and experimental album Full of Hell have released on their own. But don’t for a second think they’ve lost their edge. In fact, the precision feels even more pointed as there are more utensils in their tool bag. Full of Hell are like a metal version of Dexter, one of the scenes where he’s added a new knife and he wants to try it out. No matter the size or style of what he pulls out, the butchery is masterful. To open there is a sort of mix of classic Full of Hell grind with just a hint of different styles. Opener “Half Life of Changelings” uses an almost jazz like discordance alongside the blast beats. Second song and single “Doors To Mental Agony” takes some classic grunge and the result sounds like Melvins getting into a fight with a bear, that end assault is purely vicious aggression.

Grunge influence is actually a bit of running theme across the album and it runs with what we heard on “Reeking Tunnels” from 2021 Garden of Burning Apparitions. “Transmutating Chemical Burns” is similar to the classic grunge covers we’ve heard from Thou in recent years, there’s a darker and sludgy vibe but no less are the riffs and style similar to what Alice in Chains were doing 30 years ago. Guitars and distortion aren’t the only signs of experimentation though as Full of Hell dig into the style of another project Dylan Walker has involved himself in. The slow and angular drum machine, topped by unsettling guitars and noise with a rumbling bass make “Fractured Bonds to Mecca” the Full of Hell experience of what we’ve heard from Sightless Pit. The 90s influence is far from gone as the title track and another single “Coagulated Bliss” is Jesus Lizard grindcore. There’s that cowboy aura that Duane Denison’s guitar playing has always brought but melded with that frenetic grindcore we know.

“Bleeding Horizon” is a return to that Full of Hell formula I alluded to, a longer form and droning number nestled in the middle of the album, as was the case with the aforementioned “Armory of Obsidian Glass”. It’s somewhat of a respite as the Corrupted style drones feel like a coming to from the earlier assault that left you on Dexter’s table. This sets a trend for much of the rest of the album, as the second half of the album sticks truer to their usual selves, but if you’ve loved the left turn so far don’t be dismayed.

Now, moving away from experimenting with new sounds, Full of Hell remain a swift sledgehammer to the skull and a simultaneous kitana slice to the stomach. Blunt force trauma with no end of sharply technical riffs and beats. “Vomiting Glass” and “Schizoid Rapture” are classic Full of Hell. They’re both an in your face, pulverising attack with inhuman sounds from both ends of the spectrum from Walker with the latter even bringing in drummer Dave Bland’s amphibian growls like those from Jarhead Fertilizer. “Vacuous Dose” continuous the revisiting of their unique grindcore sound but again with a notable Duane Denison influence on the guitar, except on even more speed this time. It’s worth noting a standout drumming performance from Bland too who sounds like metal’s answer to Dr. Octopus throughout as he has done for a long time.

“Gasping Dust” takes us into the last quarter and it’s pure, unadulterated Full of Hell filth. “Gelding of Men” has a wonky and unfamiliar feel after the back and forth attacks we’ve just survived. That angular riff recalls Demilich just played at the wrong speed. There’s something unsettling in the discordance around such a riff being played at a low tempo that gives the whole song a real feeling of unease. Finally, we come to the Jacob Bannon featuring “Malformed Ligature”. Walker and Bannon trade blows in the verse around a forceful chorus, as two recongisable heavyweights of 21st century heavy music go head to head in a rumble of the industrial jungle. It slowly bleeds into a pensive saxophone to bring the album to uncomfortable end, not unfamiliar once again but a final intriguing tone in an album packed full of slightly unexpected sounds from a band unlike any other.

Coagulated Bliss finds a band who have been maintaining a creative peak for an unbelievable amount of time pushing new boundaries and finding new sounds to embellish a still firing attack. Across the album there’s plenty to delight the fan who only wants pure blasting a la Frank Reynolds in It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia but the always daring Full of Hell fan has much more to sink their teeth into.




  • R Fowler says:

    “Most unique” is ungrammatical, as “unique” is an absolute adjective. You also need to review hyphen usage (“almost jazz like,” “in your face … attack,” “Jacob Bannon featuring”—Jesus, dude).

    • Alex says:

      Well, you must be fun to be around. I’m amazed you’re wasting your time to just to be pedantic about someone’s grammar on a review they wrote in their spare time because they love music and enjoy writing about it. I assume it also went through some kind of editor before being posted and clearly they didn’t pick up on these tiny things either.
      Review is great, reads nicely and your comment comes across as very lame. Jesus, dude!

    • King Shit says:

      fuck you, nerd. ACAB includes grammar nazis..

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