Onhou Stream Endling LP in Full; Album out Nov. 30 on Lay Bare Recordings & Tartarus Records

onhou

Tucked away up north in the Netherlands is the churning, grueling four-piece unit Onhou, whose tenet of bringing atmosludge to a shining-black level of extremity results in an ambience as punishing as their sheer tonal crush. Their debut album is titled Endling — which sounds harmless enough as a title until you attempt to define the word; is it ‘child of the end,’ as in what comes after, or the nascent ending itself? — and is seeing release Nov. 30 through Lay Bare Recordings and Tartarus Records on LP and tape, respectively, and it collects three extended pieces for a vinyl-ready 38-minute run that, to its credit, feels longer. As Onhou follow their 2018 self-titled EP, which was comprised of two 10-minute tracks, they plunge deep into brutalist lurch, conjuring a trench of tone seemingly in order the cast the listener into it. At 17 minutes, “Dire” is the opener and longest track (immediate points), and while its most skull-cavingly heavy moments are offset with minimalist droning — plenty of time for such things, certainly — it still seems to push Onhou further into cavernous reaches, setting up not just the dynamic of the subsequent “March/Retreat” (10:50), but the cavernous and blackened aspects of “Silence” (10:44) as well.

I suppose if one wanted to work hard enough, Onhou might be shoehorned into being considered a post-metal band, but that’s hardly the entirety of what’s happening across Endling on aesthetic terms. onhou endlingThere’s doom, sludge, black metal, post-metal, drone and a cold, harsh delivery to it all that seems only to highlight the cruelty behind its purposes. It’s not a stretch to imagine the “end” they’re depicting in these songs is the age through which we’re living, and while humanity has struggled and survived before — World War I was the end of the world in Europe and that was 100 years ago, so really we’re just all in the aftermath of that — it’s hard to see a way forward from things like the accelerating death of the planet on which we live and the greed of our corporate and political overlords that seems to rape the way fish swim. One could go on in making a case for Endling as a news report from the Netherlands bureau, but Onhou don’t seem overtly sociopolitical in the sense of making a commentary. Lyrics are delivered in guttural shouts or screams across the three songs, when they’re there at all, so it’s hard to say for sure, but their argument seems more impressionist than statistical, and their presentation is well suited to making it, underscoring the idea that it doesn’t matter if we go out fighting, we’re still going out. Like a candle goes out.

This, coupled with a volume-as-ritual sensibility and a nod that offers little route for escape from its hypnotic undulation, makes Endling a deceptively multifaceted affair. I don’t actually know the themes with which Onhou are working. I could be way off in my interpretation — everything is politics to me these days — but even if I am, it doesn’t really matter, since the point stands all the more that Endling is open to and stands up to various readings from the listener. That in itself is a strength of the work and while I won’t discount the importance of clarity when clarity is warranted, the murk in which these songs dwell feels very much like a natural habitat for their consuming and devastating/devastated sonic manifestation.

You can stream the album in its entirety below. I wish you luck on your journey.

Enjoy:

Releasing their first full-length ENDLING, ONHOU is expanding on the hopelessness of their arduous sound, fighting against the inevitable. ONHOU is a Dutch sludge/doom metal band formed in Groningen, consisting of (ex)members from Ortega, Grinding Halt and Wolvon. The four piece scrutinizes dark territories, devising an immense sound utilizing two vocalists, down-tuned guitars and pulsating electronic elements. These bleak atmospheres serve to shape a dismal and forsaken uneasiness.

After a well received EP released by Tartarus Records in 2018, ONHOU returned to the studio to record their first full-length titled ENDLING. Endling will find you dragged into discomfort with ONHOU’s bulking riffs, dark electronics and thundering rhythms. One can try to find reason or refuge, waging a war with all of your might while it burns the heart out of you. But one will only find loss, without a trace of existence.

There is no legacy. There will be no judgment.

This is ENDLING.

LBR 026
Release date 30 November
Pre-order open 15 November
150 copies on black – 100 copies on white vinyl

TAR145
Release date tba
Edition of 100 cassettes housed in a diecut cardstock case.

Tracklist:
1. Dire
2. March/Retreat
3. Silence

Onhou is:
Henk Wobbes – Bass
Alex Loots – Guitar/vocals
Arnold Havinga – Drums
Florian Studdel – Keys/vocals

Onhou on Thee Facebooks

Onhou on Bandcamp

Lay Bare Recordings on Thee Facebooks

Lay Bare Recordings on Instagram

Lay Bare Recordings website

Tartarus Records on Thee Facebooks

Tartarus Records on Instagram

Tartarus Records on Bandcamp

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One Response to “Onhou Stream Endling LP in Full; Album out Nov. 30 on Lay Bare Recordings & Tartarus Records”

  1. One of the best releases of this year! So awesome. I had the pleasure to see them play live a few times and they are a beast. If you get the chance go and see them play and buy this record.

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