The album cover for Hellover by Maw is terrifying. I think the music as well can make the hairs on your back rise. Maw makes experimental music in which you can make some comparisons to artists like Tim Hecker, Prurient, Ben Frost, Haxan Cloak and Fennesz to name a few. I can’t say the production at this point is on the same level as those aforementioned artists but he is certainly on the right path. Some of the parts are immersive and other parts drag on a little too long. He seems to be close to making it all click. That being said I wouldn’t pass this up because of the more inventive parts.
He opens with “Your Faith is God in Mexico, But He Never Looks Back.” The song is initially grounded with a sawtooth appreciated buzz that gets layered with ominous pads. Drums entered but didn't fit the mix. They sounded too clean and conventional for the music. I was impressed by the direction the song took. The drums stop and descending tones emerge as if everything around you is melting. Towards the end the song becomes more chaotic.
“Sometimes I Dream I'm Giving Birth to Dead Dogs, Sometimes I'm Breastfeeding a Big Ol' Ugly Catfish” begins with feedback, white noise drone that is dark. The song finds a groove and leans towards mid ’90s industrial music. I again thought the drums weren't working here especially since the kick was at an inconsistent level.
He rides out the groove for a long time adding layers like a standard NIN song. The layer gets the most interesting at around seven minutes where it begins to sound like apocalyptic psychedelic swirl. Without any notice the song enters in a serene section with airy synths. This part just misses being both tranquil and contemplative. Real orchestral strings mixed in with the synths would have had me.
“Dawn of Don” is a lot more dissonant and harsh than anything that came before. This song gets in feedback loops, white noise and lots of distortion. “Your Face Became Roses” is most related to drone metal in the spirit of a band like Sunn O))). The song has moments that works but I also felt the synths overpowered the guitar here.
If there is anything I hope that Maw takes away from this it's that he needs to find a different drum sound. That would be first on the agenda. The other things should eventually fall into place as he becomes a more experienced producer. This is a good start overall and I think he is a boatload of potential.
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