Friday, June 10, 2016

The Vomit Arsonist : Only Red [2015]

1     Choice                      7:24
2     Only Red                   6:42
3     Nothing Matters         4:55
4     It Just Is                   6:33
5     I'm Not Fine              5:13
6     No One Can Help You 5:52
7     Unwelcome Peace      3:55
8     GW(RDX)                  8:00

It certainly colours within the lines of a death industrial opus, but it does so with an artistic flourish that’s missing from many such releases. There is only one term to describe what’s going on here, and it’s dark; dark like the muck at the bottom of a swamp, dark like the cancerous grease on a coal miner’s face, dark like the landscape after a forest fire. No hopeful shaft of light penetrates the sulfurous clouds for even a moment of the album’s eight tracks. The tracks seem to form a terse narrative of a mind going through the depths of depression. There is a thematic continuity between titles like ‘Nothing Matters’, ‘I’m Not Fine’ (my personal favourite track), and ‘No One Can Help You’

A fog of discordant drones, sometimes swelling to a near-orchestral crescendo, binds the album together in a sinister soundtrack that will be music to the ears of fans of Megaptera, Negru Voda, Steel Hook Prostheses, and IRM (particularly the classic Oedipus Dethroned). It has that same balance of menace and majesty at its core, overlaid with groans, creaks, rattles and anguished howls like a recording from Hell’s plumbing system. Rhythms roil from the abyss with the plodding metre of forced labour. It’s not something that breaks new ground, but I really appreciate the effort that’s been taken to get an effective range of sound, and to mix them in such a way that everything has a space in the final product. Special thanks from me for not boosting the vocals too high in the mix, which is a pet peeve of mine, even though a lot of people aren’t bothered by it.

This is the sort of release that feels right at home on Malignant Records, America’s long-standing purveyor of where-happiness-goes-to-die ambient and industrial, sliding deftly down the razor blade that separates explosive walls of sound and subterranean murk. Solid.


Power Noise | Power Electronics | Martial Industrial | Dark Ambient | Industrial Ambient