Apologies for the absence of late; new place has not been the most internetty in the world. I have an iPhone (the boring saga of which was a post idea at one point), but cannot bring myself to blog on that quite yet. The backlog is now a… very big backlog. Anyway, I wrote something new for FACT, so here it is, with something in the way of postscript.
Lustmord is a crafty veteran when it comes to atmospherics, having augmented the sounds of everyone from Tool to Jarboe. [other], his new album on Hydra Head, is a mood-defining music. But only if you allow it to be. At first it could be written off as more evil-sounding fare from the increasingly wealthy dark-metal clique. The bass pulses and glooming atmospheres are all present and correct, though it lacks the sudden explosions that characterised a Delerium Cordia or Chaos is My Name. Perhaps that’s its charm.
The record starts off so slowly you’d be forgiven for turning it off prematurely. If you’ve heard Enemy of the Sun, Black 1 or Human Animal, you’ve heard ‘Testament’. And ‘Element’. Both threaten you with world downfall, but go on for three weeks without delivering. And, as with any decent record of this ilk, each track bleeds into the next (as long as it’s not a Relapse reissue) so any signposts are lost in the eternal dusk.
This fits Lustmord’s delivery, as he develops the music in a more subtle way than Mike Patton might. Guitar arpeggios rise slowly above the murk like sleepy old men from their stools at closing time. This is eerie juxtaposition with the groaning electronic malevolence beneath, rather than the timeless windswept vistas painted by recent – brilliant – records by the stoical Earth. ‘Godeater’ feels like it lasts a year, but if you allow yourself to wallow in it, you become consumed.
This guitar work, by Adam Jones, adds much to the experience, though he soon becomes more notable by his absence. ‘Ash’, once heard, becomes a waiting game for the Silent Hill noises near the end. Lustmord is one of the finest exponents of Scary Noise-core, but there are only so many scary noises one can hear before tolerance builds and they bore. The problem is it’s not actually scary like Coil or the last Anti Group CD was. I want to love [other] but, outside the Jones tracks, will probably reach for Altar a few more times before giving this another spin. How much do you want to believe?
It should probably be mentioned that Lustmord seems to me to be awesome at instilling existing work with depth and aural grain – as seen in the Jarboe remixes or ‘10,000 Days (Wings, Pt. 2)’ – but somewhat lacking as a starring role. I am not that familiar with his past solo work, so maybe I’m being naive. It’s something I’m going to blast on the Death Deck once or twice more before I’m totally done, and I may even buy it proper. For the Adam Jones artwork, because I’m superficial like that. Put a donk on it.