Vindication And Contempt
~reviewed by Goat
First I would like to say, “Bobby LaBonte, Marvin Martian, Death Metal/Grunge: LongSleeve black Band T-shirt, cammo shorts/black jeans, Gripfast/Hi-top Converse, tattoos, etc.”.
"Why?" you ask, "Would you say such a thing?"
‘Liner notes here begin: “We live in a nation where the majority of the population define themselves and demonstrate their principles by their favorite stock car racer, Looney Tunes character, and sub-fad of clothing they wear. All hail mini-van-Wal-Mart-America.”
And by the way. It’s an extended-cab Chevy. Not a mini-van. The mini-van wore out terminally at 206,000 miles, so we had to get a new set of wheels. The mini-van is up on blocks out by the barn, with Rye growing up through the wheel wells.
There. I'm "Out". Wal-Mart-American Pride.
(Before anyone writes to tell me how stupid I am, and how Wal-Mart is part of the vast Evil Conspiracy, I know that already. I also know that my Grandfather’s General Store was put out of business by the likes of ‘em. So yeah. I know already.)
These liner notes are pretty darned funny tho’. Jibes at “Two-bit hobbyists” and such. ‘Last person I heard say that was James Mason, if I remember correctly. Not the Boy-From-Brazil-James-Mason. The *other* one.
Now. To the music which accompanies the liner notes:
Brilliant. Absolutely jaw-droppingly hands-down brilliant. If you like Arditi, Puissance, Blood Axis, Days Of The Trumpet Call, Von Thronstahl, Scorpion Wind, etc., then you cannot be displeased with these recordings.
If you’re not familiar with the bands mentioned, then I think the music here would best be described as majestic militaristic solemn orchestrations. Elegant, resounding, classical, ambient. Think Roman Art meets the Quake Soundtrack. Or Mithraism marching on the Dark Side Of The Moon. Splendour in dung, searching for Light. Brutal. Achingly beautiful.
If Classical Greek architecture tugs at your heart. If the Futurists are some of your favorite people. If you enjoy stark electronics and black leather baroque. If you like pina cola... Sorry. I couldn’t resist.
Extremely Highly Recommended.
Run Time: 62:10
I remember the first time I saw hell. It was a huge factory, lit from below in an otherworldly orange glow. Steam belched all around the parapets and silos. Steel ladders climbed to nowhere, and the bottom rungs were set unreachably high. Rumbles and clangs filled my eyes, my ears, and my nostrils. I was terrified. My mother said I wouldn’t stop screaming for hours. The factory was a sugar refinery. I was three years old.
LAW’s “Our Life Through Your Death” is hell. Yawning, and terrible. Where “Vindication and Contempt” contained what I felt was a stark, metallic symphony of sorts, “Our Life Through Your Death” sounds for all the world like the groaning metal skeleton of a dying Trojan Horse.
The two albums have a similar atmosphere, but feel so different emotionally. Where “Vindication and Contempt” made me think of the spirit of Blood Axis and Arditi, (albeit from a more purely mechanized perspective,) I don’t even know what to compare “Our Life Through Your Death” to. Except hell. The album is almost incomprehensibly bleak. There was a majestic warmth and resplendence to “V&C”; with “OLTYD”, there is no warmth. There is nothing to hope for. If the last track, “It Is Beyond Us Now” is not the Sound of the Falling of the Kingdom of Iron and Clay, I don’t know what is. The End, The End, The End...
Please visit Triumvirate for this and other