Genre: Dark Ambient / Industrial
02 Without a Breath
03 Dead Machines
04 From Here to Ruins
05 Scene of the Fire
06 Red Alert
“Ground Zero” is the first full-length, yet short, recording by Polish artist Hoarfrost, unless you consider the free mp3 download of the short and middling EP, Dungeon, which we reviewed
here at Heathen Harvest.
“Ground Zero” is an awkward listen that instantly has impact, with prejudgements already made and/or expected: couple that with sensory information whilst listening and it is even more so. The demesne of tumbling Americana is an interesting choice for a Polish artist but Hoarfrost does its best to capture the limits of the iconic liquefaction.
A forest of rust and stone, where deformed, yet detailed fauna gurgle and elusive breezes whisper sibilants snaking through vast bulks of decomposition. The verges of the dust storm are notably never reached among the tracks in Hoarfrost’s “Ground Zero”, them all keeping runnels of susurration like the clouds of choking ash and compressed stone. Each track sets a unique composition that while unified in their gauzy sound are noticeably displaced experiences of ground zero.
The ghosts of short wave radio flutter like the rain of burning debris in the distance only to then scream in frustration so incredibly close, which evokes a tang of the supernatural as only thousands of lives evicted at one moment could do. With atmospherics ranging from the echoing choke of smoke to the roaring of animated debris, Hoarfrost neatly attempt an honest evocation of such a palpably internationally felt event.
The album comes with a bonus video of “From Here to Ruins”, comprised of shaky cam imagery of looped ruins: not Ground Zero.
A tri-panel gatefold nurses the jewel base of the digipack in a satin full colour finish. Encrusted in the shrapnel of photographic ruins tastefully bleached and enlarged, the album’s artwork deftly mixes with its stark subject matter. Within the photography contrasts with odd and unexpected slices of youthful beauty, ala female photo shoot into the wasteland.