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To get an idea of the sonic bloodbath you can expect on Pharmakon 's upcoming debut Abandon , I'll allow a spoiler that it gets incrementally and progressively more accessible, and its closer "Crawling On Bruised Knees" is what passes for a reprieve. Yet even without the preceding 20 minutes of slashed-throat shrieking and industrial gore, "Crawling On Bruised Knees" impresses on the listener, as 22-year old noise artist Margaret Chardiet conjures Faces of Death through her battery of power electronics-- hovering choppers, the pounding of ritualistic drums, a warped and desperate vocal robbed of its humanity and disgraced by its suffering. Sonically, it's unsubtle stuff, but in a narrative sense, it's open-ended enough for the listener to see the perspective of the tortured or the torturer-- it's either a manhunt reaching its conclusion, a sacrifice, or the final, pathetic moments of someone who's crawling towards something, even they don't believe is salvation.
Monday, April 1 2013