Desperate for a funeral, Iphigenia Douleur, aka Foie Gras is fascinating with their sculpting of sound and material-based contortion work. The initial moments are blessed with these chiming synths that become more charming than any sense of daunting. The foreboding nature comes from the opposing use of this more frantic and nearly overpowering instrumentation.
When the vocals finally do appear, Foie Gras is angelic and works to incorporate higher-pitched narration nearly inseparable from the blissful chimes. “Psychic Sobriety” hones in almost entirely on being relatable in lyrics, illustrating, “I’ve had a bad day but I’m sober, I’m sober now I swear. I’m a bad way but I want you, I want you anyway.”
The gothic undertones on the record are nearly a shining example of heartbroken writing, especially on the following track, “God Lived As A Devil Dog.”
The instrumentation trades in the more rushed and conquering speed through a synthwave city for instead, motions of draining sluggish stomps. The once asphyxiated writing of heartbroken assessment trades for a loving confessional. Foie Gras illustrates, “You are so beautiful to me, even now you’re gone. It haunts me. We stirred up trouble, yes we caused some shit, but you are still beautiful to me.”
As the instrumentation continues to pull and drag the audience through this metaphorical mud, Foie Gras continues, “Cause in my life, I will die. But I can’t wait to see you on the other side… I held a funeral for you, it was as beautiful as you.”
“God Lived As A Devil Dog” is one of the first tracks on Holy Hell, but its impact becomes one of the strongest displays of emotional performance from Foie Gras. However, in another more animalistic and aggressive light, “Red Moon” is a desolate warzone of tension recovery and eventual destruction.
Instrumentally, “Red Moon” appears as if HEALTH had their hands all over the piece with these live drums over a futuristic war-torn countryside. Scents of burnt skin from explosions and fragments of memories scattered around the battlefield. Inside this chaos, Foie Gras is eternally immortalized through this ethereal and almost ghastly display.
When the synths finally stop warping and crushing, Foie Gras dissipates almost immediately into the ether. While born in the framework of sterile loss, Holy Hell works within itself to be a cornerstone of ugly beauty.