A hauntingly harrowing and stunning debut from Avalanche Party: 24 Carat Diamond Trephine

24 Carat Diamond Trephine

Welcome the immersive 24 Carat Diamond Trephine, one of the strongest pieces of artwork 2019 has been lucky enough to be graced with. Sharply corrosive, and harrowingly bleak, Avalanche Party’s debut album is a haunting and melodic mix of heavy edged punk, fuzzy psych rock, and shimmery euphoria, and the band have truly excelled themselves, mashing their heavy punk presence with something so stark and chilling that the album conjures up eclectic and dispersed emotions from the very start

The album opens with the vivaciously brooding El Dorado, a haunting and atmospheric track which uses a long drawn out build up and sharp, contrasting vocals to create the horror movie soundtrack feel it has. Lasting nearly six minutes, the sharp notes of Glen and Jared’s keyboards are merged with a captivating orchestral aura, Jordan’s dark vocal deep and intimidating over this. It’s a lot softer than the band’s previous work, and this sets the tone for the rest of the album. The dropping piano notes strike up similarities to a church pipe organ, the use of echoing and reverb effects prolonging an impending feel of something poignant and foreboding. Such beautiful composition instantly grasps your attention, harrowingly inducing one into the trance that is experiencing such a debut album as this. The album continues with Bugzy, which has an audacious and catchy bass line, which sets the tone for the track, steadily continuing throughout. Jordan’s vocal, as it is on much of the album, has an element of theatrical prowess to it, very deep and dark almost akin to Nick Cave, which matches the thudding tones from bassist Joe perfectly. The layering of screams – and shuddering guitar screeches over the bass – build Bugzy up into a wave of energy, which particularly peaks at the line ‘I’m not the one you wanted but I’m the one you got.’ The album then steeply punches into 7, followed by Howl. The aggressive violence of 7 is mosh pit inducing, a raucous nastiness at the core of the track. The slithering bass line that follows after Jordan’s careless projection of the words ‘oh baby’ again strike up the organ sound, as the album’s themes start to become more evident. The sharp keyboard is used again for Howl, which has more of a chorus to it, and having more than one vocal present in the chorus gives Howl an almost choir-esque feel. Heavy vocal distortions are used as well, with a well set mic reverb adding a maturity to the track

Milk & Sunlight Is A Heavy Dream is your more typical rock’n’roll track, the light whispery vocals drawing similarities to early Avalanche Party discography, notably Let’s Get Together off the band’s 2016 debut EP. The album picks out old Avalanche Party elements, yet at the same time is a highly mature and fresh piece of art. With its weird dub step electronica, HAHA is by far the album’s most experimental and unique track. It stands out quite starkly, the electronic drumming and heavy usage of dark synth and synthetic crackling adding a very fresh and tentative vibe to the album. Hey Misdemeanour which follows is very much so the opposite track to the themes present in HAHA, very soft and calming, a kind of lullaby one might feel. The use of the acoustic guitar and harmonic backing vocals is really beautiful, a little bluesy twinge of guitar cropping up in the track here and there. Vaguely similar to Million Dollar Man with that thudding opening, Playing Field Blues follows. With its damning lyrics and scratchy screeches of guitar, the track begins as a scatty and vivacious one, before interestingly becoming a much more experimental industrial piece of music. This is the point in which the album becomes the intriguing left-field controversial album that it is, as Playing Field Blues immerses you as the listener with its flowing mix of styles and sub-genres which are rarely mixed into one three minute long track

“This is the point in which the album becomes the intriguing left-field controversial album that it is”

We are then welcomed to Every Last Drop, a calming track which has subtle elements of psychedelia alongside a melancholy broodiness. Jordan’s voice is so beautiful on this album, and Every Last Drop is a really nice way of showcasing this, the calming nature of the track becoming almost overwhelming near the end, through Kane’s rolling drums and the scarring distorted guitar solo. The guitar on the album’s penultimate track Cruel Madness is a pure joy to listen to, the riff like a twisted parallel version of reality, the riffs and drumming pattern almost like a carousel theme tune. Jordan’s lyrics on this are very observational and quite scary in a sense, one of the best lines in the track being “imagine my surprise when I saw you crawling all the way from that fake dimension just to tell me you got a message, you’re trying to send.” And we end 24 Carat Diamond Trephine on what is one of the best tracks ever written, Rebel Forever. Stirring up post-grunge 90s sounds, with a stark and bleak sense of poetic injustice behind the lyrics, Rebel Forever is a perfect close for the album. It’s the rawness of the bass and reverbed guitar which jump up an octave nearer the end, paired with the sharpness of Jordan’s vocal, which make Rebel Forever as hauntingly mesmerising as it is. Lyrically, the band cleverly tie the end of the album in with the very start, by featuring the lyric ‘it flies over the sea and across the world, ‘til it reaches El Dorado’, a neat reference to the album’s opening track. Meaning ‘the golden one’ in Spanish, the old myth of El Dorado was that a city made entirely of gold existed in South America, encapsulating an undying thirst for gold and riches held by many. Yet the myth was dissolved upon learning that El Dorado was in fact a leader, a ruler so rich that we would bathe himself in said gold. The themes of greed, loss, and delusion struck up by the tale of El Dorado are extremely in line with the lyrical themes running throughout the album, one which is brutal and dark, and one of the most honest and thematically intricate albums of the year


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