None but a Pure Heart Can Sing is only 32 minutes in length, but this duration comes with more ideas than many releases double the length. The album is a loose mix of styles and genres, taking an experimental and avant-garde approach to music that finds them combining pretty much all of the post- styles, (metal, rock, hardcore, and black metal), with a diverse non-metal array of genres such as jazz and classical.
Imagine luscious strings mixed with furious hardcore and exotic atmosphere. There’s an atypical grandeur here; it’s almost as if the emotive melodic power of a band like Orphaned Land has been deconstructed and set to a post-hardcore backdrop, while gentle jazz plays in the foreground. Or maybe think of an act that can craft emotive and intimate cinematic soundscapes, (like a hybrid of Zoe Keating, Divine Circles, The Monroe Transfer, and Mogwai), only to have them cruelly ravaged by hyperactive percussion and wild instrumentation. Perhaps instead you might consider what Imperial Triumphant might sound like if they were less concerned with the dark side of life, and more concerned with providing overstimulation via glorious, yet refined, excess. Another description might be of an orchestral Ephel Duath of sorts, brimming with rich emotive layers.
I could go on; suffice to say that So Hideous are not your average band that play an easily identifiable style that sounds similar to other bands in said style. No, So Hideous are not only walking their own path, but they’re paving it as they go, in whatever way they feel like. It’s a privilege to go on this journey with them.
And what of the vocals? These are almost exclusively acidic screams that slice through the multifaceted music with the purity of the single-minded. They spit vitriol and invective with every cursed utterance, and show no restraint whatsoever.
Well, what a gem None but a Pure Heart Can Sing is. If you’re a fan of highly textured, highly creative, high-impact experimental post-metal, (or any other number of appellations you could use to describe this band), then So Hideous have created a monster.
Essential listening for lovers of music that’s both intelligent and visceral.