ALBUM REVIEW: Emma Ruth Rundle – Engine Of Hell | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Sargent House

Released: 05.11.21







After a series of records which found Emma Ruth Rundle pushing her strain of gothic Americana to heavier, denser places (reaching an apex with her excellent recent collaboration with sludge metal giants Thou), Engine Of Hell is a dramatic reversal that also magnifies the underlying strengths and thematic concerns of her songwriting.

Ditching full band guitar arrangements for a set of subdued, primarily piano-driven songs, Engine Of Hell is at once her most conventionally melodic release yet confrontational in its starkness and candour: see the way the opening Return slides away from catharsis to murmured sing-speak, or how Body delves into childhood trauma by way of Emily Dickinson. As hushed as this album is, there’s something primal and purgative at its core and the way it finds Rundle burying preconceptions and past selves to clear a path forward.


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