I’ve said it before, and I will say it again – the sound that results from friends that get together and make music is unrivaled. Hill of Doors proves this sentiment to be completely true with their five-track self-titled EP Hill of Doors, a collection of somewhat spacey yet consistently intriguing songs that managed to catch me off guard more times than I can count.
“Anima” sounds like euro acid jazz meets Tool, in all the right ways. I love the off-rhythm approach along with the super jazzy and smooth lyrics, floating on top of a swirling background of comforting background ambience.
“Red Wax” is deceptive; based on the overall tone it sounds like your typical ballad type song. What makes it different is the rhythm switch that comes without any warning at all. You’re sitting there, thinking everything is peachy and 4/4, and then out of nowhere the beat staggers and you’re left wondering how on earth they kept the song going after pulling that. I do like the grunge-laden portion of the song, which tossed some gravity into the mix.
“Roses Will Grow” is positively dreamy and horrific all at the same time. The bass-centered melody is ominous and dark, but the higher-pitched lyrics and Latin-esque technique add brevity. Add in some hard rocking parts, and one can’t help but think this song is bipolar. That being said I loved every bit of it because the two extremes work so well with each other.
“Mirror Show” somehow seems to capture the frantic nature of walking through a house of mirrors – the confusion, the fear, mixed with wonder at the familiar images all bouncing back at you – while still being a comparatively laid back song. More interesting is that the riff is technically straightforward and does not deviate much, but still remains interesting all the way through. I got an earworm from this one because of that riff. The swirling melody that kicks off the last track “The Bones” is beautifully written and trickles meaningfully through the song aided by key notes played by the bass and heartfelt lyrics.
Though Hill of Doors has a lot of different techniques and sounds at their disposal, they don’t just toss them all into each song; each sound and effect has its own special place. The end result is a well-balanced album that isn’t overwhelming but still feels hearty and thick, and is fun to traverse to boot. I enjoyed this because at no point did I know what was coming; at no point could I get comfortable with a certain sound, lest it should be snapped up and switched out for another, equally if not more, impressive section. I thought it was great from beginning to end and could easily expand to include more songs. Definitely give these guys a listen.
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