Photo by Nekrographie

GOLD – “Shapeless” (audio) (premiere)

The Dutch upstarts tweak their sound -- and image -- with stirring results.

Created by guitarist Thomas Sciarone and singer Milena Eva, Rotterdam band GOLD initially sounded like a natural offshoot of Sciarone’s previous band, the late, great occultists the Devil’s Blood. As a result the debut album Interbellum, while leaning more toward a hard rock sound, was still very much under the “occult rock” umbrella.

With second album No Image, however, GOLD have shifted gears considerably, cutting down on classic metal riffs and focusing more on leaner, slicing guitar tones reminiscent of post-punk and goth, atop arrangements that go for a propulsive, primal tone. In other words, gloomier and more mysterious, led by Eva’s brooding voice. It’s a surprising but welcome turn, the band creating more of their own niche rather than following someone else’s lead, which you can hear on the new track “Shapeless”.

“‘Shapeless’ is about the desire to evaporate,” the band says. “To be a small numb particle of the great big nothing. For no one to see and of no one to be. It’s like a snow storm on a perfect winter day, when a thick layer of anonymity strips the world of it’s form. This thick layer is expressed through the hauntingly cold guitar textures on top of the overall feeling of bleakness which is represented by the droning drive of the rhythm section. But it’s Milena’s enchanting delivery that for us makes the blackened punk drone that ‘Shapeless’ is one of the most compelling moments of No Image.”

No Image will be released 6 November on Profound Lore.