Shock Frontier ‎– Mancuerda Confessions


[Reviewed by Iaha Crax]

Noise sound effects can be turned into strange melodious rhythms when the man behind the machine has overcome the barrier between machine and flesh. A relevant example is the beginning of this record, “Paroxysm”, which is gently played on very few tonalities. Despite of its title, there is no musical climax, the only intensity being attained by severe piercing electronics and through a frustrating feeling of absence from sensual animation, derived directly from the cybernetic turning on of the tune.

This acute state of tech-driven despondency finds a more physical (and definitely pathogenically inspiring) corollary on “Angels Upon Iron Horses”, a track that stems from prison-bare hisses that become alarmingly disturbing when flooded by hospital sodomizing, life-measuring beeps. It is an acid lyrical vision of a still life existence whose only pulse is the conditional reflex to an indifferent exterior. Few can reproduce the uncanny desire to escape from this laden atmosphere, if not maybe some forgotten and geographically misplaced symbolist poets.

The artist has unconsciously caught the scent of oppressive, terrific, fleshly Death present on the masterpieces of Megaptera, sniffed it with the demented and discountenanced institutionalized sickness from Atrax Morgue and let it pervade our insatiate minds in a manner of intricate finesse combined with asylum idolatry as in Atrium Carceri. “Blood Eagle Zealot”, the unbearable psyche auto-mutilating tune, meticulously takes us through a long walk through massive death industrial sustenance, like a weakened Prometheus, a brazen steel sky measured in gray frequencies.

There are musical pieces or literature extracts that remain deeply impressed upon those with a deranged sensitivity, like some tracks from Elend, Gorecki, Dark Space…Raison d’Etre. And I may add to the list this bloodcurdling track, “The Confessional”, to which a casual description would ruin even my abased delight in knowing that another person would suffer the same sudden paroxysmic, true terror. Let it flow without expectations and receive in full pathetic access the burden of those who confess under the torture method known as Mancuerda.

It’s again death in the center with another oppressive track, “Controlled Atmosphere Killing”. Ferociously disturbing, it attacks the persona from the inside almost with abject insidiousness in an approach close to a despised but cherished style manifested on BDN’s “Necrose Evangelicum”. And it is no coincidence that Malignant Records presents this project as an outcome and brand of their label, such as Cold Meat Industry developed their very recognizable sound in the past.

Across history man has sought rational explanations to what he sees as contradictory reactions to civilization. Unlike the past that reported values to a different plane, today man is still unable to have clear answers and solutions from a strictly rational interpretation. Maybe because rationality as well as progress are concepts that built an illusion from which we are now unable to reawaken. Indeed, “The Extent Of Our Disintegration” is far too irrational for us to even realize, and the track bearing this name points out our present state of being through a desperate intoxicating ambiance. In “Decrepitude Approaching”, like the coiling of a serpent meant to arrest your senses, combusted noises are poured in cascade upon the listener, in a tide-collapsing manner. You just might try to steal yourself out from the omnipresence of a phantom-like body of your future being, a mind and flesh image mirrored into a decrepit corporeal existence. It’s no surprise that you want to listen to the track again and again, just to shatter the feeling of an ineluctable future – but the tonalities reach such a level of crushing intensity that the only thing shattered is your self-pity.

Brain insufficiently rested after a single blowing point of coma played on “The Confessional”, the point is further developed on “Mancuerda”, a track that completes the horrifying theme of torture with a technical description of the methods. Plain and simple, the apparatus, both sonically and mentally, abuses flesh and spirit to the delight of sadistic ears.

In love, hate, pleasure of torture what are we seeking for if not the generally termed paradise? And we have reached it here as well, at the end of the record with the precariously named “This Is Paradise”. This is the sound of an after torture body, refined by mechanic responses to a once human state of mind. Ironically or just hyper-realistic, the torture apparatus, here Mancuerda, becomes an allegory for the society that once received us in full motherhood only to make us her true servants.
This is a project that will appall and haunt for many forgotten days those still entangled in this obscure, and mostly not so sane musical genre. The Pennsylvania-based musician behind it, Robert C. Kozletski, composes also under Psychomanteum. And even if he may be so physically distanced from many of us, there is a terrible certainty that his musical tableaux will make our eyes startle many nights from now.

Shock Frontier ‎– Mancuerda Confessions
Malignant Records, TumorCD64
CD, 2013

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