New Music – Gates Of Oblivion


“A rich belief that no one sees you,” describes Emma Ruth Rundle on the opening of her newest endeavor, Engine Of Hell. The perfect record for lowering the casket, Engine Of Hell is that last bit of sunlight before Earth turns its back on the audience.

From a written standard, Rundle has always been fantastic at capturing and executing a sullen harshness between the gentle and pale beauty of her sound. On Engine Of Hell, the collected and dedicated delivery is switched to become more delicate on the ears but acts as a sledgehammer to the lungs and heart.

Emotion is the driving grace for the record, and the introduction of “Return” is as harrowing as it is breathtaking. Picturing a foreboding garden with dead plants that lie amuck, Rundle crawls from the mire not to be covered in shadows but is somehow untouched and pure.

The instrumentation on “Return” are these sharp chords that cut deep, but are like a viscous wrap around the audience. Fully engulfed at certain points, “Return” uses these chords like a leaping pad to spring from. She continues to illustrate, “Author of a Poor Design, No one to steady your gaze. And the things a pound of flesh can’t buy, where have you gone to?”

Much of Engine Of Hell lays in isolation with Rundle as the solitary narrator. Few times, like on “The Company” are there multiple layers to the instrumentation where piano keys and acoustic guitar intertwine as some sleep-ridden dream state. The cold air rushes from the incoming breezes of winter and rain taps against the pane.

“The Company” is poetically gorgeous, but sonically is difficult to sink next to. Rundle in particular on Engine Of Hell is somber but goes through with this theme of stripping down her style to become even more of a skeleton through performance.

The walls begin to break down instead of close in, pieces like “Razor’s Edge” become this burial at sea where oblivion never comes. Instead, standing directly at the gates of some wide never-ending; Rundle takes the outsider view on “Razor’s Edge” and pushes to the forefront.

Catalyzing on difficulty and power, she describes, “Pass it to me honey as my sweetness and my lights dim down. Numbing out nightmare but I just keep grinning.” She continues on through acoustic plucks, “Play it down, Magdalena, no one knows that you’ve come undone. Looking down the mirror at the demon that I have become.”

While “Razor’s Edge” might be one of the tracks that has some sense of uplifted nature to it, Engine Of Hell is a farmhouse where some great tragedy took place years prior. Unknown to the audience, each memory of this horror show is played through Rundle’s memories where she fades out of consciousness and dives immediately into reliving the coarse terror from yesteryear’s grief.

If death could linger and be immediately attached to an album, Engine Of Hell would be the first home in mind. The hands of an apparition reach out, but instead of capturing the listener for a prize; the hands reach right through and spare the audience in the final moments before imminent fatality.

Listen To Engine Of Hell Here!!! – BandCamp/Spotify/iTunes

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