The debut album by Holy Water goes by the same name and is the brainchild of Jasper den Hartigh, who you may recognise from post-punk band Heat Dust who hailed from New Orleans and now the guitarist/vocalist is turning his hand to this Doom project.
Was there any other option but to record this album at home and in the rehearsal area used by Jasper den Hartigh? Recruiting Andrew Stevens on drums, Neckbolt’s Ben Krause on guitar and den Hartigh’s wife Sarah Contey on vocals, this 11-track offering contains references to Dutch fairy tales and spans 35 minutes.
The atmospheric reverb that you will notice straight away is something that remains throughout the album and in some ways provide the foundation for what is to come. The pace is that of a Funeral Doom release and in many ways the overall feeling from this band is leaning well into that category. The deep grey music you experience in the opening track continues throughout and as the first two tracks almost bleed into each other, you will have a great feeling for Holy Water.
The almost chanting style of vocals is engrossing and hypnotic and when layered upon that drone of the guitars and the discreet and dampened drums, it creates something that feels as depressing as it can get. However, it is key to point out that depressing isn’t a bad thing when it comes to Doom style music.
For anyone who doesn’t listen to Doom, you will probably be wondering what I’ve been drinking before I write this and why depressing is good. Simply put, we all have low moments, those flat and solemn moments. In those moments we can often feel alone, yet this type of music helps you know that this is not the case and in fact can provide an outlet for those feelings.
The thing is, for this to happen, it needs to be quality or else you just wonder what you’re listening to. Holy Water has that quality. It gets you immediately and before you know it, the 35 minutes have passed and you have been in some sort of hypnotic state. The cathartic qualities that this album has is a testament to that quality and I recommend that anyone who is intrigued by Doom or fans of the genre – please listen to this.
Holy Water will be self-released February 3rd 2023.