Close The Hatch~ To Collapse in Absentia: Green (EP)
Red Moth Records (Release date: Aug 26, 2014)
1- Purple on Green
2- Wax & Purpose
3- Grit & Fire
4- False Hopes & Gunfire
5- And To All Things
I really don’t know where to begin explaining what the new Collapse In Absentia: GREEN ep sounds like. Powerful? Dark? Immense? Heavy? Beautiful? Brooding? Yes to all the above and more. Close The Hatch, on Red Moth Records is another one of those Ohio bands that you want to label a Metal band, but by doing so you are doing them a disservice. Not because they shouldn’t be considered Metal, but because they are so much more than a Metal band. Much more.
The musicians in this project are: Shaun Hall (Drums), Josh McGrath (keys/Piano), Adam Rohr (Bass), Shaun O’Shaughnessy (Guitar) and Stephen Barton (Vocals/Guitar). Drums on the songs Purple on Green and Grit & Fire are handled by Aaron Fisher, who also added additional vocals to the track Wax & Purpose, while Dennis Sanders added some vocals on And To All Things. Combined, they comprise a formidable group of accomplished musicians who are not afraid to experiment with ambiance, tone, and scale- they produce an alarming mix of ambient quiet that explodes into heavy, brooding despair, and then flip the switch with an orchestral movement of controlled chaos.
Stephen Barton’s vocals travel through a wide range of styles- at some points his voice sounds like a shotgun, setting the stage for an angry diatribe, which transforms into a scornful croon that kind of reminded me of Maynard James Keenan, of Tool/A Perfect Circle and even Rennie Resmini of Philadelphia’s seminal MetalCore outfit Starkweather.
Green is the 2nd in a two-part release titled To Collapse in Absentia, the first being Red. There is also a B-Sides release from this recording project that is free to download here. The first song Purple on Green begins the ep with a bass-heavy thud that incorporates ambient-like breaks of piano/keys and some cool harmonic wizardry. Songs 2-4, Wax & Purpose, Grit & Fire and False Hopes & Gunfire in my opinion are a continuous song, somewhat like an orchestral piece or a Rock opera. The interweaving of heavy and quiet, pounding and subtle is constructed beautifully, with Drums and Bass keeping the movement rolling forward, while Barton , O’Shaughnessy and McGrath alternate between a meandering ambient drone, and intensely powerful rhythms.
Throughout it all is a dark and ominous vibe that is hard to turn away from. Josh McGrath’s piano and keyboard parts are what add a unique sound to Green, it is also the facet of Close the Hatch that gives the band an almost Prog-rock feel. You can hear the song Purple on Green for yourself right HERE. As far as production goes, it was Recorded, Mixed and Mastered @ Popside Studio by Micah Carli, who did an excellent job of making certain that even the quietest note is heard clearly. The cool cover art was designed by Jean Saiz from Primitive Violence Records & Visual Arts.
Close the Hatch have been performing live recently during a series of mini-tours, the last of which will end in Norfolk, Va at the Belmont House of Smoke on Saturday, August 23 with MANisDOOMED! from Philadelphia, and Norfolk’s Metal powerhouse Complex Origins– if you are in the area, do go to the Belmont and check them out live. You will be able to buy the GREEN ep, as well as past releases. File under Experimental/progressive/Metal.
Here is a video of Close The Hatch playing live: