PSYCHOSIS EX MACHINA (Foamin’ Sodomy Records)
~reviewed by Mick Mercer
It’s still in here you know. I can sense it. The environmental official claimed the place had been fully cleansed, sluiced at speeds usually associated with sandblasting: even laughing “that’ll do for the bastard!” But it’s still here. Waiting.
Be warned, it comes in a pink, red and white (mostly) sleeve, and you could be tricked into thinking left-field Industrial. You might take it lightly. And be sucked through a vortex of howling misery.
So shall it be, for P Emerson Williams, who is involved with a book, ‘Necromance’, out through Westgate Press, has been preparing for this album by playing gigs in unsuspecting art galleries. He’s been building up to it for years, and the dread fear we should all share is that he will take this miscarriage of inverted melody further still.
I lost track of tracks, which I think is intentional, although I’d tried hard to observe the map. The opening noise cloud contains voices, of that there is no doubt, and then the arousal/carousal which is abruptly switched on displays a dazed choral industrial tableau. Then it’s off, roaring and screeching like flea-infested beggars on speed. (Think: Ancient Mariner Inventing Anarcho-Punk.)
The tracks often suggest these are ditches of burning maniacs, but in ‘The Enchanting Dead’ there’s guitars shunting into each other; one slug-like, one acrobatic, all juiced up by rasping, bubonic vocals, and these lyrics are almost convivial compared to the main body of work: “Who you are is what you buy, You try so hard to charm the Enchanting Dead, You’ll never know the price you’ve paid.”
Then we descend into Hell. You may think it’s just Industrial Rock with knobs on, but some of those knobs are bobby-trapped. It becomes a sandstorm inside which a battalion of skeletons create spectacular effects. (Think: Mummy Returns at a napalm death convention.)
You’ll encounter vast juddering creations, some secreting doomy riffs, and always the vociferous vocals are a sediment, a constant wild whispering in the harsh strata. The demonic spew is fine, the punky stomp unexpected, but mostly it’s just worrying, as you find yourself encircled by disembodied voices. There’s gruelling, hard ambient grindcore, leaving a shattered cadaverous wreckage. And that’s you. And that’s okay too.
I was relieved when it ended, making Leech Woman sound like The Proclaimers as it does, but I couldn’t help noticing that this palpitating Hellish breath creates a wind tunnel of musical mucus which is none other than orchestrated chaos.
So I’m keeping it under lock and key, just to be on the safe side. Regrettably, it seems to have heard my plans…