Hold - PERIHELION

Hungarian ambient rock quartet PERIHELION (not to be confused with the Baltimore tech metal band) only released their second LP "Zeng" last October and already they're back with a 500-copy limited-edition EP, "Hold", or "moon", as translated in their native tongue. "Hold" is comprised of three new songs followed by a stirring cover of "Sycamore Trees" from David Lynch's "Twin Peaks" soundtrack.

PERIHELION's often melodramatic moods are designed so vocalist/guitarist Gyula Vasvari can expressively wrench his guts out, mostly to good effect. The sulky melodrama of "Feneketlen" is smothered by Gyula Vasvari's writhing weeps accompanying the morose guitar lines he and Krisztian Szabados lay down. Before the listener is subject to total despair, however, the song's jacked-up choruses and some snarl from Vasvari pulls the song on-track. "Szarnyakon" thereafter is tougher with rolling grunge riffs merging with briskly-strummed shoegazing, creating open air for Balazs Hubicska's bass to assume near control over the song. This pushes Gyula Vasvari to holler as much as he croons with Barna Katonka's avalanching rhythms around him.

The segue into the title track is bare, the dreamy acoustic and key swirls sounding as much as "Szarnyakon"'s outro as "Hold"'s core melody, giving Vasvari Gyula a gaping window to whisper through. This reverie comprises half of the song, which asserts a tempo designed to spike the tension. Unfortunately, it's more the inadvertent sound of cataclysm until the final moments when a concrete rhythm manifests.

Unless you're a PERIHELION fan (and there are many) or considerably open-minded, what they offer holds limited appeal if you're seeking something more crushing. Gyula Vasvari can be both a great and irksome singer, which adds to the sensation you've been flogged as much as emotionally-moved when coming out of this band's music.

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