Taking their name from the universe of Dune, this intriguing band releases its latest record, Litanies. Post metal might be the easiest way of describing Gholas but that would be unfair to their much deeper and more complex nature.
The beginning of the album comes in and hits you straight in the face with “…And the Lives Come Flooding,” as the band takes on a more extreme, kind of Mouth of the Architect, form. The great groove and the weight of the track are able to pin you down and keep you there. The riffs are addictive and the vocals even though they sound quite typical have a very interesting delivery technique. Gholas basically bombards you with voices coming in left and right from the speakers, overwhelming you. At first it might seem a bit out of place but once you are used to them you will not be able to picture the music without them.
What is even more impressive is when Gholas adopt a colder, more industrial vibe to their music. Try to picture something between Godflesh and Jesu on steroids and you will get a better idea of what to expect. The guitar work in “The Worm” and the way that it expands is sensational, but it is not until the ending bit of the song when the band really push forward, making the track great sounding. The same industrialized vibe washes over “Calls Out to the Supplicants,” with the band at the same time using repetitive guitar motifs, making you feel intoxicated and confused. Seriously mind altering stuff!
Still, it is not until the final two tracks of the album that the band really nails it. Compared with previous songs, such as “With Terrible Purpose,” which can be described as quite dark but also catchy, the two final offerings are far superior in every aspect. The slow buildup of “The Sleeper” finds the band creating anticipation for what will come on next, and as the feedback from the amps is covering up everything, the tension is being stretched to an insane extent. From that point on Gholas take on different forms, from post metal to more melodic moments filled with melancholy, for instance about four minutes in the song. Even though the track might lack some of the intensity of the previous songs, it makes up for it with its sorrowful outlook.
On the other hand, “The Fighter” comes in all guns blazing, with a direct assault towards every direction. Everything just works great on the track, from the sick vocals to the great groove from the bass and drums. And all this is happening while the stunning guitars spread dissonance all over the place. Gholas rely on their repetitive nature in order to make more of an impact, while the breaks to more melodic parts come from out of nowhere. This gives a more mesmerizing and intriguing aspect to the band, opening up new dimensions altogether.
All in all Litanies is a very unique album revealing a band that is complex and out of the ordinary. If you like your mind being bent then this one if for you.
8.5 / 10
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