So Hideous: Last Poem / First Light
Fusions, crossovers, and poly-influenced musical projects were abundant before the Internet became accessible to most, but the Information Age has yielded an entire generation of musicians who are exposed to whatever they’re interested in hearing. It has produced a “post-everything” type of mindset, and NYC quartet So Hideous is an exciting product of these times.
Formerly So Hideous, My Love, this symphonic blackened hardcore band is as inspired by post-black-metal outfit Celeste as by post-rock giant Mono and minimalist composers Philip Glass and Arvo Pärt. Now, with its debut “full-length” (27 minutes), the quartet expands its orchestral reach, enlisting the studio aid of The First Light Orchestra, a collection of 10 string players, a tuba, and four vocalists.
Last Poem / First Light opens with a Dimmu Borgir-esque piece of haunting and terrifying symphonic metal, propelled by heaps of double bass before falling into an eerie, barely there outro. “Stabat Mater” follows with a dark intro comprised of bells, operatic vocals, clean guitar, and rising cymbals. A mere minute passes before the band explodes with a full-bore blast of blackened hardcore — an eruption of anger that yields the song’s close to a sad piano passage.
The rest of Last Poem / First Light is a similar swing of emotions, but it’s always a sonic punch in the gut. Quite simply, it’s one of the most exciting debut LPs of the year.