Hellcoil‘s Demon Rocks‘ six songs are your rough hewn, stone steps of descent into a place of fire and brimstone. There is no turning around in those twenty minutes. No reprieve. Voices like souls in beautiful torment enrapture your ears like the wailing smoke of the damned. For full effect and to complete the incantation, repeat your listening three times.
Hellcoil started between Spartan Jet-Plex (they/them) and Rafael de Toledo Pedroso (they/them, he/him) in 2020, near the beginning of the world’s slow motion apocalypse. The duo was inspired by a mutual love of 80s industrial, post-industrial, and folk industrial music, as well as horror films, especially older B films.
Drones of guitars twisted into distorted beats that part into an ocean of pipe organs and haunting vocals. You fall not only into a heart of darkness but also of dreary shadows. High pitched feedback is your only light to contrast this endless gloom. A palette of colors that all seem black as pitch in this fitful illumination of immolated souls.
You can hear the duo’s industrial roots clearly on Demon Hoof Dawdle. I could witness a skeletal horse struggling to gallop until it succumbs to sink into a eternal suffering mire. Any fan of early Einstürzende Neubauten or Psychic TV will find a comfortable vibration with Hellcoil.
I found the whistle melody, vocals and samples of the video game “Sinistar” on Our Emotions Are A Bottomless Pit In The World’s Dungeon to be a beautiful stanza for our last step into Hellcoil’s separation from normalcy and hope. Beware of flashbacks and puzzle boxes, unless you are into that sort of thing.
Both Spartan Jet-Plex and Rafael de Toledo Pedroso are collective members of Grimalkin, a queer and trans-led collective and 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to mentor and support trans and queer musicians, particularly BIPOC and disabled artists, using an artist-centered holistic approach to break down barriers, create new systems and structures of support, and expand the reach of marginalized voices.
Proceeds from this release supports Grimalkin‘s current fundraisers.