Hush - Pornography of Ruin

24 Aug 2022 - Thorsten

(Funeral) Doom Metal, Post-Metal | The Sludgelord Records | Release date: 24 Jun 2022 | Favorite song: The Sound of Kindness in the Voice

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Philadelphia is so much more than bad fans (which is not quite true, imo), a mighty cheese steak sandwich, Cold Case and Rocky – it is also home to some mighty interesting bands and one of them is Hush, who just released a strong outing in the form of their third full-length The Pornography of Ruin! A record that was more than five years in the making but which sounds like it was done in the last five months. Timeless (funeral) doom metal.

One should not talk bad about promo agencies because without them out there doing the good work, it would be pretty hard to find those nice underground gems that everyone and especially us here are seeking. But this time there was a promo agency which described the sound of Hush’s new album The Pornography of Ruin as Crust/Sludge and I hardly came across a description as inadequate as this one – because both of these genres are usually associated with some kind of furious sound and music. Hush are surely angry at some points of this release but their sound never is – this is basically (funeral) doom metal, to me. However, what do I know?

When listening to The Pornography of Ruin I surely do know that I like what I hear because the music is very diverse, very atmospherically dense and very well-produced which surely is important for the messages it tries to convey. The first song, “I am Without Heaven and a Law Unto Myself“ is a powerful song about having to overcome obstacles thrown at you in the form of accidents that reshape you physically and mentally. First, there is this throbbing beat, then we hear some very melancholic piano notes and then the song basically erupts in front of your face. The obstacle Charles Cure is screaming about is his own car accident of 2016 after which he had to learn to walk again - “folded into my shape / I embrace another self / and disappear.“ somehow reminds me of the beginning of Thrice’s early anthem “The Artist and the Ambulance“ (don’t ask me why, though) but musically, those two songs are as wide apart as possible because Cure’s sings with a life-threatening despaired look back at the time back when he was his own self, while Dustin Kensrue is looking at it from within the very moment.

The band is able to mix really remarkable melancholic elements in minor – compare the fourth track “By This You are Truly Known“ and its mellow bass- and guitar-intro – with some harsh eruptions. The latter can be exemplified by the opening of the third track “There Can Be No Forgiveness Without the Shedding of Blood“, which is a vein-throbbing exercise in Rosetta-like Post-Metal (remember, we were talking about Philly?). This track is also part of the reason, why one cannot place the record justified completely in the FUNERAL doom genre, because even though there are some typical funeral doom elements on it but the eruptions are somewhat too often and the vocals are very good but also quite your usual funeral stuff. That‘s also one part of the reason why the band is much more than the next quick fix for those who seek their “next new thing“ but more a long-lasting act that is here to stay and grow steadily.

The harsh guitars which scream for change and rectification and the beautifully melancholic yet reminiscent parts are so well interwoven on this record that one sometimes forgets time and place and just fits there, listening to this record which should result in a strong and loyal fanbase. The fact that the band took its time writing and recording it is a result of them also being able to do so in their own studio which one band member built a few years ago. Therefore there is no kind of superfluous stuff on it, nothing to be melted away but everything is just where it should be. A mighty and powerful punch in the gut, a warm embrace and luckily no one screaming for “Adrian“! Long live Philadelphia, long live Hush!