Dec 2013 23

ESA - Themes of Carnal Empowerment – Part 2: DeceitESA
Category: Noise / Industrial
Album: Themes of Carnal Empowerment – Part 2: Deceit
Stars: 4
Blurb: While the conceptual direction may fly over some heads, it doesn’t make ESA’s sex-fueled sonic havoc sequel any less intoxicating.


With remnants of tones and themes from the last installment still oozing through ESA’s barely dormant corpse just waiting to be fully reanimated again, Jamie Blacker returns with his second offering of auditory carnage with Themes of Carnal Empowerment – Part 2: Deceit. Always provocative, sometimes funky, and never drab, Blacker further explores the concept of lust turning into deceit and ultimately, the uncontrollable devil created by both, incapable of realizing the extent of its destruction until it’s far too late.

Much like how some ominous entity descends from the sky and the world watches in hopeless dread, the overture in “Let the Sinful Sparrow Sing” suspends time, heralding the imminent cataclysm; the breathtaking hymns seem to chronicle, with each perfect sway of vocal sensuality times of both innocence and sin. Transitioned with euphonious results, “I Know Your Wounds” carries the gritty, corrosive, and hard-hitting industrial beats that Electronic Substance Abuse is surely known for by now. From “The Heart is Marked” effortlessly hooking listeners with volatile lust-drenched clinks and animalistic roars to the caustic swirls of obsession in “Breathing Through You” to the groovy beeps and siren-esque shouts of elation that the funky “Devious Words” brings, it not only conveys the technical insight possessed by Blacker to inject his work with a high level of intricacy and cohesiveness, but also becomes apparent that Deceit transcends the bar and makes many in the same genre look very cut-and-dry in comparison.

“Deceit (The Sharpening of the Shears)” marks that there is no turning back with its grainy power tool sweeps and rotary hisses all enflamed by the feeling of betrayal and need for revenge, while “No-One Will Ever Touch You” acts on those emotions with elaborate overlays of submerged chants, bloodthirsty, distorted eruptions of malice with IDM and breakbeat inspired spasms. Misleading listeners early on with its escaping pulses and muddy crashes, the pleasant surprise in “If I Could Hurt You All Over Again, I Would” delivers some of the most exemplary composition in not only this album, but perhaps most in ESA’s history; acquiring the ingenuity to utilize gorgeous angelic vocals, ethereal piano structures, and harmonize subdued industrial frequencies, this well indicates that Blacker can control his seemingly eternally boisterous demons when needed and evolve as an artist. Soothing tribal psalms and tamed static in “While You Sleep I Converse with the Dark Birds” aid in contrasting many of the earlier tracks, while “Confudere” concludes with 12 minutes of offbeat flourish that doesn’t quite emit discernable closure from the last half of this two-piece conceptual work, which perhaps may be its intent.

Arguably a notch above his last endeavor in Part 1: Lust, Jamie Blacker delivers a truly riveting artistic perspective laden with a balanced dose of consistently contagious floor-stomping tracks and just the right amount of meditative qualities to appreciate the beauty in life before and after the chaos.
Track list:

  1. Let the Sinful Sparrow Sing
  2. I Know Your Wounds
  3. The Heart is Marked
  4. Breathing Through You
  5. The Shape of Hate to Come
  6. Devious Words
  7. Deceit (The Sharpening of the Shears)
  8. No-One Will Ever Touch You
  9. If I Could Hurt You All Over Again, I Would
  10. While You Sleep I Converse with the Dark Birds
  11. Confudere

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Purchase at:
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Zachary Locke (ZLocke)

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