4 decades back, Holy Fawn slid loudly into the Arizona scene with their self-developed, heady blackgaze and manufactured a deep perception in a scene whole of ‘old guards’ with ‘Death Spells’. Bolstered by their 2015 EP ‘Realms’ and afterwards their lauded ‘The Black Moon’ (2020), their uniquely atmospheric combination of foreboding swells, translucent clean vocals and chilling black steel yelps sent ripples down listeners’ spines. The standout monitor ‘Dark Stone’ sent the release stratospheric, combining jarring sound with gradual, crescendoing depth and nevertheless to this working day retains its individual as just one of their biggest tracks. Having said that if ‘Death Spells’ was Holy Fawn location sail, their most current venture ‘Dimensional Bleed’ is the anchor being thrown overboard.
The record is a considerable, affirming job that plays with influences from article-rock, blackgaze, submit-hardcore and ambient to willingly forge a extensive, Homeric saga and attest to Holy Fawn’s rightful assert to the ‘metalgaze’ crown. To label the Phoenix locals as pioneers of ‘metalgaze’ would be a disservice to their elders, but what Holy Fawn have manufactured on ‘Dimensional Bleed’ is the most approachable nevertheless colossal record in that genre to day.
Acquiring formulated their have article-rock area of interest, the file is a lot more approachable than the 10-moment furthermore songs of Deafheaven and Cult Of Luna, and thematically cohesive more than enough to carry a transcendental narrative that needs significantly less lore and entire world-creating than their contemporaries. It veers into pop brilliance guide single ‘Death Is A Relief’ and intersperses intensely indulgent seven-minute sagas with 3 to four-moment tracks with daringly wonderful hooks and masterfully layered manufacturing.
This certain record feels overdue in some perception. Whilst previous get the job done has painted an summary, tough-shaped picture of the band, this history instead serves to depict a hyperrealistic, lively group with a cohesive hive intellect. There is an component of grittiness that was not apparent in prior releases, capturing a more vulnerable intensity to the outfit’s sound. The scratchy bass tone and fax equipment atmosphere on ‘Empty Vials’ is as unsettling as it is intriguing, presenting a far much more experimental soundscape for vocalist Ryan Osterman to deliver his elongated sentences, while somewhere else they enjoy it safe on the opulent layered outros of ‘True Loss’ and ‘Sightless’.
‘Amaranthine’ could have easily jumped on the soundtrack to any mildly atmospheric to start with individual online video video game in the 2010s (e.g. Loss of life Stranding or Bioshock Infinite), with Holy Fawn producing a full band backdrop to a amazing side quest. The monitor floats in and out of potency, generally quaking into life but elsewhere disappearing into white noise scattered with interstitial clicks. It feels like it never ever reaches the whole prospective of Osterman’s epic songwriting, blurring a lot more into an interlude observe than was intended. ‘Lift Your Head’ has a sleeper strike resonance to it, boasting the most maximalist swell on the record, underpinned by a repeating minimum reverb guitar riff.
The closest monitor to being a solitary is the uncompromising ‘Death Is A Relief’, a in close proximity to pop music when considered in distinction to the remainder of the report. In shut next is the bigger tempo ‘Void Of Light’ that sees drummer Austin Reinholz come into his have with thundering snare slugs and at some point, a flooring tom driving coda that teases the emotive ‘True Loss’. There is an unknowing maturity to this work, that even though it does not punch as challenging as its competitor ‘Death Spells’, it serves to exhibit a a lot more yielding, pliable band that can conjure thoughts significantly outdoors of deep disappointment.
‘Dimensional Bleed’ is a revelatory document for the branching Phoenix outfit’s legacy. It carries a deeply insidious atmosphere, by no means revealing what is coming round the corner just before exploding into both a flurry of movement or into a whispering, ephemeral minute.
Words: Alisdair Grice