Auditor, Form Destroyer, Annihilvs, CD APEX2014-04 (2014)
We actually have met the man behind Auditor before: he’s the fellow behind the grim industrial dub act Iron Forest whose “Body Horror” CD I reviewed about this time last year. Whereas Iron Forest’s interest lies in the interface of human body and machine technology, and the potential for transcendence (whether good or bad) this promises, the Auditor project takes listeners on a bleaker and more hopeless journey into the Brave New Musical World of dystopian post-industrial rhythmik elektronix. Metal machine ambient drift, martial mechanical beats, inhuman robot voices, bristling silver-toned wash and techno-terror can all be found here.
The first track is an amorphous coalescence of bits of distorted voice, background scream, fragmented beats and digital tone wash that drifts into the no-nonsense dance-floor machine monster “And Vomit as You Devour Them”, which busies itself with hammering your ears into total submission with pounding techno beats. We are then forced to take an almighty leap into the deeply murky ambient “Flea on a Dead Dog”, all lumbering and lurching black rhythms and zippy electronic effects conjuring a hypnotic soundscape of brooding latent cyber-menace that might consume us body and soul.
The last two pieces on the album are incredibly bleak and dispiriting: the fourth track is a trudging depressive doom work of washed-out whispering vocal and harsh slashes of guitar tone and effects; the fifth track, featuring Joan Hacker on washed-out howling-banshee vocals, is a descent into an underground hell of damned souls, be they human, machine and all combinations in-between. Drone, grey gloomy ambience, distortion and the screams of the damned escort listeners into the far depths of depression where the only rational action might be suicide to blot out suffering and feeling forever.
All tracks are not long which for this style of industrial dance-floor soundscape art doesn’t quite do it justice: the third track in particular could benefit from a longer treatment concentrating on the total absorption of listeners in its world in its first half so as to unleash full sonic violence in the second half. The second track could also have been longer if only because its rhythms and beats are insane enough to suggest that when future generations of machines are fully endowed with massive intelligence and intense self-awareness, they will become completely insane. With each track being very different from the others, the album does not present a very unified front though it does follow a trajectory in which the music becomes more fragmented and disorderly with each succeeding track. Themes of depression and a gradual descent into madness inform the album and this fact explains the recording’s apparent unevenness: earlier tracks are quite robust with strong rhythms and beats while later music is desultory and almost formless.
In all, this album can be an intimidating experience but if you think you can stand it, you will find the journey worthwhile: any music that tries to replicate the experience of sadness, hopelessness and depression, treat using ativan, no matter what style it’s done in and how well it is done, as long as it respects those unfortunate enough to endure such suffering, is always welcome for what audiences can learn from it. Dark, tragic beauty can often be found and listeners may draw strength and courage from art that plunges into such depths.