While you may have been trick and treating or immersing in a full-blooded or classic horror movie this Halloween night we were embracing and in turn celebrating the Oct 31st release of FRUIT OF THE GLOOM, the new album from UK spooksters, das Ghoul. The lures and prowess of previous releases meant the album was a sure investigation for intrigue and soon proved an indulgent affair for ears and imagination, so much so that when we should and planned to share its joys days earlier we were still lustily locked in its Poe themed Monster Club theatre.

The likes of their 2020 released Video Nasty EP and the following year’s album, TRIP THE LIGHT PHANTASMIC, more than proved the dark story telling of songwriter/ vocalist/guitarist Craig ‘The Plague’ Holtom, bassist Bernard Ghoul-Hefner, drummer Mary Ghoul. And keyboardist Octavia Von Wakeman was matched by a just as lively and animated sound. The Oxford quartet weaves the darkest tales within a fusion of horror punk, psych rock and art rock with more to its instincts, honing it into a rousing clamour of dark ‘n’ roll; something akin to The Doors meets The Cardiacs in many ways but brewing certain uniqueness.

Within FRUIT OF THE GLOOM, songs are short vignettes of imagery and just as fruitful sound within the creative anthology of the release, barely any tracks worrying the two and a half minute mark yet all leaving a chapter length of intimation and temptation in their presence and wake as immediately proven by the album’s opener, The Stoves Of Dauntsey.

Straightaway gothic insinuation is shared through piano keys, Holtom’s breath and words swiftly alongside as the album welcomes ears and imagination. Even in its gentle coaxing, there is an inherent swing to its ghostly invitation and orchestral arising, the stepping through its doors with its protagonist the gateway to Creepshow-esque adventure.

The ghostly romance of Renaisseance in next up to haunt and seduce, the keys of Von Wakeman an ethereal fizz soon broadening in melodic ectoplasm around senses stirring guitar trespass and the manipulative intrusion of rhythms. A swift cauldron of evocative magnetism, its lingering vapours draw in the cold sobering reality of Nancy Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, but a body of rock stirred sound far from lifeless. Woven with the sharpest of hooks and catchiest of strolls, the song soon had us hollering in melancholic tandem.

The glorious All You Ever Do brings a flourishing incitement of tempting and brooding, its soon to be resolved sufferance as uncompromising as it is contagious with How Do You Know We’re Not In Hell? raising its question in a voracious fire of punk ‘n’ roll ferocity and resignation. Both songs escalated the already heady heights of the release with Mannequin soon after springing its own potent and sinister persuasion within an aberrant romance for another twist in the album’s dark kaleidoscope.

Predation and persecution follow within the respective pair of Venetian Blonde and Weirdo, the first another dark amour with damnation in its future and the second a glimpse of the atypical in sound and life outside of the accepted norm. As with all tracks, the gothic swirls of keys contrast yet perfectly marry the visceral and often carnivorous surges of guitar and the rhythmic predation which infectiously stalks the senses with yet again, like within all, finding a new realm for ears as individual as their tales.

The immediately enlivening touch of Silk Tangled Lies had us licking keen attentive lips, its virulent lures leading to webs of intimation with again loner centred rumination while Not For All The Mercy In The World grabbed favourite track choice with its punk tempest of Damned hued uproar; another song in the album leaving ears before pleasure was done with it.

From its almost concussive beginning Hark! The Pendulum Swings presents an irresistible nightmare, compellingly winding around the senses with hook spiked wires and flowing melodies before unleashing delicious virulence in its chorus; it another indelible moment of addictiveness soon matched by the apocalyptic canter of Bring Out Your Dead where even in its plague ridden breath and corpse gathering lures, inspiriting anthemic prowess gripped spirit and emotions.

The album ends with Mary Lou’s In Love Again, a black widow romance cast with Stranglers-esque keys and rapacious enterprise; a final moment of dextrous infectious and cunning enterprise ultimately stealing best song at the death.

 FRUIT OF THE GLOOM is tenebrific adventure like no other within a new realm of Tartarean wonder from das Ghoul, easily their finest demesne of creative wickedness to date.

FRUIT OF THE GLOOM is available now @ https://ghoul1.bandcamp.com/album/fruit-of-the-gloom


Pete RingMaster 05/11/2022

Copyright RingMaster Review

Categories: Album, Music

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