Eleventh He Reaches London were an Australian Post-Hardcore group that split after their third and final album, Bānhūs. Maybe it was because the tension of their group dissolving, but regardless this album is much more mournful and apocalyptic. Their sound shifted to something that much more resembles Post-Punk with hints of Doom Metal. They still retain their Post-Hardcore identity though, so it makes a fascinating stew of genres. Ian Lenton sings with a voice that perfectly matches the music on this album, and interestingly works better as their music evolved since 2005. Bānhūs means ‘bone house’, like the album cover suggests.
The album opens with The Dragging Cloud, an epic 9 minute song that introduces the the band’s sound – a loud and bold bass, varied and expansive drums, low and deep guitars that quickly turn into melodic and catchy riffs. Ian Lenton’s shouts are so emotive, especially on the following track Code Entwined. If you just listened to the start of this track, you’d think it was a Doom or Sludge Metal song, and in a way it is, but Lenton’s singing grounds it in Post-Punk. Code Entwined’s instrumental bridge is simply stunning, leading to the chilling chorus “Bānhūs, bānhūs is broken mind and organ loss”. It’s there when their Post-Hardcore past shines through, the pounding drums are just perfectly up front and impossible to ignore. The intensity is somehow raised again for the epic finale, with the band all singing together “Long live ennui on me, in low, I was”.
No Funeral is my favorite off the album, the intensity just keeps building and building on this their most mournful track. There’s a slight interlude and a spoken word section that’s unheard of on the rest of the album, something I wish I saw more of. It finally leads to the backup singers chanting “I’m a coffin, I’m a tomb!” as the instrumentation reaches it’s peak. Glass Hamonium is like an ode to self destruction, detailing the sabotaging of relationships and retreats into alcohol and isolation. It’s hard to mark which is the saddest song on the album, some might resonate more with you depending on the skeletons in your closet. The guitar riffs on To Whomever are just perfect, matching the dour and depressing lyrics. If I haven’t overstated it enough, the lyrics are such an emotional gut punch, especially on this closer:
“To whomever I want, I’ve wasted half my life
By ‘growing up’ and mourning loss, but I’m giving up
To whomever I’ve loved, you never meant that much
I’ve nothing left, I’m nothing more than bone and ash”
This is another fantastic album that went under the radar for a lot of online music channels. I don’t know how it didn’t get the traction it deserved, I can really see this being in people’s favorite albums. It’s a real shame the band broke up before releasing more music on this level, but if this was too depressing for you then you should check out their earlier works, they are a little less bleak. Regardless, you should check this album out (especially Post-Punk and Metal fans), get it in your rotation, and spread the music.