Khost - Copper Lock Hell [Cold Spring - 2014]Formed in 2013, Birminghams Khost bestow us with a new release in Copper Lock Hell on Cold Spring records. The project is manned by Andy Swan (of Iroha, Atrocity Exhibition and Final) joined by Damian Bennett on live outings (he of Carthage and Deathless). On Copper Lock Hell guests include cellist Jo Quail (SonVer), Eugene Robinson (Oxbow), remix by Kevin Laska (Novation) and Tunnels of Ah.
It all begins with the opening piece “Copper Lock Hell’, a short into featuring spinning effects. “14 Daggers" continues on with a strange cello beginning that segues into droning guitars. Things become moodier on “Hypocrisy Banality Possession” which starts with a bouncing, melodious flute, Middle Eastern in sound, that is until the reverbed guitars kick in. Thunderous percussion and buried screamed vocals merge into a distorted spoken word piece. Overall the feeling delivered is truly sinister and cold. “Amoral Apathy Suppression” builds upon this feeling, although admittedly it sounds like a continuation of “Hypocrisy…” Bombastic percussion and raspy spoken vocals unite with crashing cymbals to create industrial doom. “In The Nest of The Red Throat” continues again with the theme of achingly slow doom and ambient/industrial sounds, the wall of sound guitars are absolutely crushing. “”Drain, Pacify” delivers with noisy, caustic guitars and bombastic electronics, Eugene Robinsons (Oxbow) spoken vocals are featured here with raw effect. The “Pacify” end of the song surges into a noisy, chaotic place. “14 Daggers (remix) ends things with a droning, cold of the original. Maybe even better than the original as the bareness and isolation is driven home with a relentless abandon.
Copper Lock Hell is music that overwhelms the senses as jarringly as possible. One can only imagine that the feeling would be multiplied many times in a live situation. However, after repeated listens is when the subtle nuances are able to be identified. The layers of sound become almost orchestral, on the surface it may sound like a din, but the ear can discern melody, pitch and tone. Vocals too, whether screamed or spoken, become an integral bit of the orchestration also as they unite with the music, not merely used as something to flit over it. Despite a few moments where things get a bit monotonous, a well done work.Viktorya Kaufholz