I found the exquisite Atmospheric Post-Metal Band Close The Hatch in 2012 via a glowing review in Metal Bandcamp. At the time there was no reference for them, with their sound being so unique in a sea of Post-Metal bands, (especially from The States) I came the conclusion Close The Hatch were Swedish. This Swedish deduction was not unfounded, as I follow the output of The Swedish Music Industry intently from Ghost to Vildhjarta, and during this period there was mention of many mysterious cross band projects, I seriously thought Close The Hatch was a product of this Swedish hybridization process. To backtrack somewhat, Post-Metal itself has sub-genres within it, and more often than not bands tend to sound inorganic, formulaic, and simply trying too hard. Close The Hatch has that inexplicable balance that makes the project work, sounding authentic. Close The Hatch ticked all the boxes, and they were shrouded in mystery to me, (I am often more fascinated when I have no knowledge about a bands’ or project’s personnel, the wrong personality can upend the whole experience, although with Close The Hatch, this has fortunately not been the case). This mystery surrounding Close The Hatch, (to me) spread to the people who heard me listening to them, in which case I would immediately point them in the direction of Bandcamp. Needless to say, Close The Hatch had made a personal impact on me, from the lyrics and careful instrumental execution, to reference listening as an engineer would. This is where Close The Hatch has been clever whether they know it or not, there is always something new to be found in the mix.
Upon Close The Hatch’s latest release Death And Resistance, I discovered them to be, from of all places Ohio, thinking they had to be Swedish, i was perplexed to say the least, music like this rarely happens in The States. There was no press for Death And Resistance that I knew of. I would have come across Death And Resistance within a few days of release as they are on my weekly Bandcamp checklist, however I found Death And Resistance on release day. I’m wondering how The PRP had missed this. I did not know what to do with this information, a new Close The Hatch, to me, this is a monumental occurrence.
Were I to review Close The Hatch’s Death And Resistance, it would unfortunately read like a Master’s Thesis in Psychology, (I would spare anyone that), as there is so much packed into this release in every aspect possible, from the lyrics and composition, the nimble musicianship, to the engineering and production. Close The Hatch has very few Stateside peers, Kowloon Walled City, Pelican, Sumac, possibly Scientist, yet are distinctly set apart from them stylistically, (as it should be). Close The Hatch manages to suspend the listeners belief into what an Isis resurrection might possibly be without falling into that trap so many other bands do of attempting to sound like Isis. As soon as the listener thinks they’ve picked up on an influence in Close The Hatch’s sound, it is turned in on itself as if it was never there, this is not only fascinating, but high art.
Close The Hatch had set a musical composition bar high, everything is laid out with a mathematical precision, without ever sounding dry or emotionless. Death And Resistance further built on this practice. It’s not a piece of work during listening where one analyzes what could be done differently, Death And Resistance is a concise work of art. Textures are something Close The Hatch mastered some time ago, Death And Resistance takes it a step further, by bringing eclectic elements into a genre where they would normally be shunned, however in not opting for sonic stagnation Close The Hatch is quite open to expansion of sound and does so masterfully. My introduction to Close The Hatch as it was, I never knew how many guitarists they had, upon intent listening the tonal palette was so varied in a carefully woven sonic fabric it was impossible to guess. I never knew how many vocalists were involved… Close The Hatch manages to execute this cohesively, Death And Resistance builds on the legacy.
I had recently been woken out of a Twitter slumber, We deleted and restarted the band Twitter account during Occupy Wall Street, and started following hard news on it, people presumed the account was hacked, we’ve never gone as far as to explain it, or the current hiatus we are on, Levi, Kurt, and myself are averse to self-promotion, and have our reservations about social networking due to our Ed Snowden concerns, however we would carefully craft Tweets from that account in support of The Majority Report. On a whim from my personal account I Tweeted about Close The Hatch’s Death And Resistance release, in doing so found out they had a Twitter account, finding out they weren’t Swedish and had a Twitter account was a lot of information to process. I knew Close The Hatch was on Facebook, although it’s no secret that Facebook is openly hostile towards musicians that do not conform to some ridiculous algorithmic standard, and I find Facebook openly hostile to my peace of mind. Nonetheless I had followed Close The Hatch quite some time ago there, though I don’t check Facebook, I did following the release of Close The Hatch’s Death And Resistance. I literally have to think about logging into Facebook 24 hours before I do so, not being a participant in that marketing and surveillance platform.
While Close The Hatch could conceivably think they are being stalked on Twitter, namely by me, It’s truly not the case. I’m genuinely excited about what Close The Hatch does and how they do it. My Twitter activity is slight and about things I’m interested in, never usually about me specifically.
All experiences are different, mine being an older brother blaring The Majority Report through the house when I was a kid in it’s Air America days, a Tool childhood, segueing into a Pelican/Isis adolescence, actively seeking out actual music in dying music industry of the 2000’s, was not an easy feat, although something that will continue to stay with me. Music became political, one can’t simply passively listen, one has to engage in some activism for the artists they listen to, be an advocate without crossing any ethical boundaries of course.
Close The Hatch is monumental, and will hopefully continue to be so. Death And Resistance is without a doubt one of the few albums that will rank at the top of 2016 years’ end lists
Find Them Close The Hatch On Bandcamp
A Documentary to see Facebookistan On Vimeo
Note: Yes, Films Crew is on hiatus, we aren’t addressing it, we are re-recording something. On the other Films Crew Collective projects they are fine.
Addressing 5 strange emails, no, we aren’t interested in career opportunities in the gay pornography industry.