James Welburn was born in the UK but he currently commutes between in Berlin (Germany) and Lillehammer (Norway). Here he explores the world of drones and noise, along with partner in crime Tony Buck (The Necks) on drums. The result is a surprising debut, combining the drones of Fear Falls Burning or Thisquietarmy with the often industrial pounding of Ministry and the power of Swans. This is something unlikely to most drone albums and a very welcome addition to this genre.
The industrial touch is immediately present in the highly repetitive drums on opener 'Naught' and most of all in the intensely heavy 'Shift', which truly reminds me of the 'Land Of Rape and Honey' album by Ministry. Other bands that come to mind are Pitch Shifter and even Godflesh. This combination makes Hold one of my favourite albums today since I adore drones and I was mesmerized by the industrial wave of the nineties and early 2000's. In fact, I wish I thought of this combination myself but Welburn beat me to it.
Besides perfectly combining both genres, Welburn also knows how to add a great deal of variation to his music. These are not just repetitive noises blasting through my speakers. These are immense landscapes of powerful sounds, drifting through the air as if they are different dimensions, colliding with ours. Elements from shoegaze, ambient and even a touch of black metal are incorporated when needed, giving the whole a lot of credibility.
So if you're into drones and looking for something original and forceful, you should get your hands on this album now. Not only on CD or vinyl, but also if you get the chance to see them live. I'm quite sure this will be an amazing live performance that will stun and awe audiences everywhere. While the album fades out with the beautiful track 'Hold', I can only recommend this release, since this is one of the most refreshing and innovatory drone acts in years...