Underground Sounds: Gilded Lily – Mongrel’s Light

Label: Lions Jawbone
Band: Gilded Lily
Origin: Canada

For anyone who believes Canadians to be peace loving and timid, there’s some news for you and it’s called Gilded Lily. The group hails from Barrie, Ontario and has thus far only released a demo. This full length is a statement to say the least.

Something must be stirring in the northern regions, because bad-ass genre defying bands seem to emerge from Canada a lot in recent years. Bands with a disposition to stand outside of the outsider art in a way, which is emphasized by the peculiar neo-realism artwork by Quinn Henderson on the cover. It really defies expectations in its cocktail of genres and folky riffs.

The record clocks around 32 minutes of furious, unrelenting fury that seems to combine black metal with grindcore and more. Most noteworthy and possibly overlooked are the lyrics, which are poetic and speak of a desolate place where only the lowest of the low is present.

The romantic sense of longing you clung to
Is beaten into the cement of the curb
Anointed with a mixture of alcohol
And piss and spit and cum
Where the carnal is holy

This is packed up in guttural vocals, cascading guitars and bludgeoning blast beats. It’s a big noisey composition of dissonance and blaring reverb. Whirlwinds of guitar shredding and dense atmospheric passages, sometimes all hammering at the listener at once. Never relenting and always brilliant, it gives the true feeling of inescapably to the listener. Though notoriously filled with blackened elements, sometimes there’s just the cold hardcore vibe present as well, like on the beating intro of ‘Yellow Dog’s Song’, which turns into a dirty, gritty ride.

Most tangible is the urban despair of Gilded Lilly on ‘A Sparse Room’, where over a buzzing noise vocals are screamed in what, played out in your imagination, feels like an empty factory hall. After that opening rant, the track kicks of with an almost tribal rhythm and industrial drones. The whole album is a show of force to me, but there’s that remaining feeling of gritty squats and the rawest, bleakest hardcore shows ingrained in the sound of this band. Why? Because that’s exactly the feeling these gentlemen are trying to evoke with this record, which I think they succeeded in with flying colors.

 

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