So Hideous
Last Poem/ First Light

Even after a name change from So Hideous….My Love, this New York post black metal act is still going to be labeled a ‘pretentious’ band and lumped in with the likes of Deafheaven, Liturgy and such, but personally I don’t give a fuck, as Last Poem/First Light improves upon the same taught, orchestration filled, post black metal as their last EP, my first exposure to the band.

Featuring an actual ten member Orchestra and choir (The First Light Orchestra) rather than synths or keys, Last Poem/First Light glistens and drips with dramatic strings and light  brass backing up the jangly, heavily envy inspired black metal. The result, is a weighty, dramatic and at times utterly glorious foray into music that many black metal purists will scoff at. But for the rest of us, So Hideous offers up some of 2013s most alluring, epic and engaging music, and if you ignore the music due to sweaters or horn rimmed glassed instead of spikes and face paint, your loss.

As I already mentioned, these guys are definitely musically linked to the likes of Deafheaven, Liturgyenvy,  and even the likes of God Speed You! Black Emperor and Mono. Riff wise wise you get shrill, tremolo riffs, rasped shrieks and  introspective post rock injections, but the addition of the orchestration adds some at times, wilting gravitas to the music. Not over the top, theatrical, pompous Dimmu Borgir styled orchestration but a  movie score-ish, demure, black dressed elegance that layers the shimmering riffs and atmospherics with a truly moving,  evocative hue.

For instance, the melancholic  lullaby of  the rending “Last Poem”, the utterly glorious hymnal atmospheres and climax of the aptly named closer “Glory” might possibly move the more emotionally fragile of you to tears as the album’s two slower, evocative tracks. Meanwhile, even the band’s more feral, blacker moments are weighted with the austere orchestral depth such as opener “Rising”,”My Light” or “Rhapsody”. However, it’s the slower more emotive moments that really slice the heart strings like the aforementioned “Last Poem”, “Glory” and piano laden close  and end of “Stabat Mater”.

My only minor gripe is the release is only six songs and a little over 30 minutes, so it feels like an EP rather than a full album, but considering how “Glory” ends the release, leaving me in a blubbering mess, I’m not sure I could take anymore.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
December 2nd, 2013

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