HORNWOOD FELL released their first album, aptly named Hornwood Fell, in 2014 and have since then have released a further four albums with Cursed Thoughts being their fifth release in six years. This album has been released as a concept album, drawing from ideas from two prolific gothic writers. For the first selection of the album the tracks draw from Les Fleurs Du Mal by Charles Baudelaire and the second half of the album looking at the poems of Edgar Allen Poe. The artists have provided us with the following quote in relation to the piece of work:
“We were inspired by two great poets who speak of human despair. Inner monsters and ghosts, horror and pain. Two authors with different voices, with whom we have imagined and played with, and made different musical lines with the intent of evoking human and earthly energies.”
When I approach this album, I was excited to see how the band would treat these great artists and their work. I do not know what I was expecting in a work that draws on the darkest of the human heart as there is so much to work with. Even so, I am not sure that HORNWOOD FELL lived up to the expectations their concept and inspirational talk created. The instrumental input that lay the ground work on every track was amazing. The melodies flow and create a wonderful scenery. Marco Basili does some wonderful work on guitar and bass whilst Andrea Basili manages to include a stellar performance on the drums. Even the inspired use of a classic vocal artist on some of the tracks really helps to bring the image that you would expect from music drawn from these gothic monoliths.
Unfortunately, all this great effort and work in creating imagery in the mind in relation to the gothic horror we expect, has been slightly brought down by the vocals they have applied. They seem apply the same style as early SLIPKNOT or CRADLE OF FILTH. They create a good sound and can be enjoyable when in the right mood but seem to be a bit out of place with the whole concept. I am unable to say if the lyrics help create the picture they intend as I find them hard to pick out or distinguish. I enjoy a wide range of music and have no problem with these types of vocals. However, when I approach a piece of music that advertises as a tribute to the dark, gothic experience of ‘human despair’ I would like to hear what the artists had to say a bit more clearly.
The overall creation as a homage to these works of art has some mixed messages. I would be happy to listen to it again, especially when I need a more energy soundtrack like going on a long stomp. However; if searching for a soundtrack that would help me explore my inner goth or inspire me to read the classic works of Edgar Allen Poe, I would maybe look elsewhere.
Words: Steph Warren
Cursed Thoughts will be available this Friday via Kadabra Music.
Find HORNWOOD FELL on Facebook.