It’s rare that when you listen to an album the first thought is “the music takes up A LOT of space.” For Full Bloom’s self-titled release, this very quality is its strongest—and altogether most endearing—quality.
The proof is in the guitars. Ryan Fregeolle’s playing throughout takes full advantage of the sense of space that 7th chords inspire, creating a sonic journey that envelopes the attention in layers of distortion-laden drama.
The hooks through drive each song to a headbanging, floor-stomping climax. Because of this, Full Bloom feels like a series of precipitous roller-coaster falls—played loud and through quality speakers, you’d be hard-pressed to keep the head and hands still. I found this especially true with the explosive opening track “The Round Table.”
Fregeolle’s vocal delivery and John Hadley’s tight and bombastic drumming are perfect complements to the energy of the music. Never dipping below shouting range, the album goes full throttle right to the last second.
One of the biggest reasons this album is worth a listen is in the production. It’s one thing to have guitars that are compositionally dramatic and full of emotion—it’s an entirely separate achievement when the recording truly makes the notion of a “wall of sound” come to life. This is most likely due to the skill of Format Audio’s Ryan Stack. In the end, what makes this album great is the convergence of all these elements. The recording quality is top-notch, and compositionally there’s not a stitch loose throughout Full Bloom. In terms of the often spacey and heavy sound we hear so much of in the hardcore scene, Full Bloom is it’s shining example. If extraterrestrials had any interest in exploring this kind of music, this album would be a great starting point.