Overall Score: 7.5/10 Atmosphere: 8/10 Performances: 8/10 Originality: 6/10 Pros: Superbly atmospheric and textured post-black metal with screamo elements Cons: Perhaps throws too many ideas into its first song
Trading between dark Alcest vibes, extremity and depressed, ethereal clean passages, the first song on the debut Hidden Mothers EP may seem like it throws too many things at the wall to see what sticks. Incongruous tempo changes, a harsh differentiation between instrumental dynamism and a chiaroscuro that seems a little out of whack. On paper, it shouldn’t work with the framework of the genre. In reality, this opening salvo from the Sheffield-born quintet is a more cohesive and coherent statement than most bands make this early into a career.
Self-described as ‘South Yorkshire snow screamo’, the band aptly create an icy feel in My Own Worth; a sense of a barren landscape, inhospitable and biting is captured by a stellar vocal performance. There’s a touch of Emperor in the tremolo picking across the EP, a hint of Celtic Frost in the, ahem, frostiness of atmosphere and a huge debt paid to the histrionics of Alcest, but delivered with a “proper” screamo verve – think Portrayal of Guilt rather than From First To Last. Highlight and finale, My Blindness, Your Burden, sees the band on ferocious, crushing form for the EP’s denouement. They exit with a swaggering bang rather than a whimper – or worse, a fadeout.
If the last decade or two has proven anything, it’s that Britain does still have the wealth of musical brilliance it was tipped for in the 1960s and 70s. Whether it’s the post-hardcore movement seen with Hundred Reasons, Hell is for Heroes and Reuben or the more contemporary varied scene of Black Peaks, The St Pierre Snake Invasion, Rolo Tomassi et al, Britain has been on storming form this millennium, at least for bands in their early days. It doesn’t get much earlier than a debut EP, and the promise carried in the self-titled effort from black metal sad boys, HiddenMothers, promises something very special to come.
Hidden Mother’s Self-Titled Debut EP is out September 18th 2020 via Surviving Sounds