Jul 2012 22

ESA - Themes of Carnal Empowerment - Part 1: LustESA
Category: Noise / Industrial
Album: Themes of Carnal Empowerment – Part 1: Lust
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: The first in a dual album series from ESA, a thoughtful and powerfully rhythmic exploration into the carnal centers of human experience with enjoyable results.


Jamie Blacker has for the past seven years been forging his own brand of rhythmic industrial noise with Electronic Substance Abuse, blasting out an infectious blend of powerful beat structures with scathing atmospheres that seep into the listeners’ brains. After a three year wait, ESA returns with an energetic and rather groovy outing that centers on the primal centers of the psyche, exploring the carnal impulses so intrinsically connected to music and rhythm. Part 1 of Themes of Carnal Empowerment, subtitled Lust, presents a continuous stream of seductive, aggressive industrial that beckons the listener to indulge in dark fantasy.

A moderately paced and rather beastly opened comes in with “Red Passage Overture” as repetitions of growling synths intimate the slovenly breaths of an approaching demon. With the onset of “With this Cold Kiss I Will Wound,” the pace picks up and we are plunged into a rapid-fire onslaught of pummeling kicks and stuttering glitch effects, melodic but melancholy howls following to create a sense of despair and tension. Tracks like “The Plot Sickens” with its steady and danceable beats, “Black Trip” with its scathing and scratchy electronic barks subtly intermingling with distorted female vocal samples, and the sparsely ambient “Themes of Carnal Empowerment” with menacing, brutally erotic vocals from Blue Mayhem and Riotmiloo and dubstep-infused bass warbles all indicate the deeper, more psychological aspects to the album’s lascivious concept. Similarly, “The Relevant Flesh” presents a much bouncier series of bass manipulations and beats, focusing on a less belligerent but no less forceful or animalistic energy, while “This is Not Love” marches militantly with a mysteriously gritty and down-pitched repetition of the title, frills of metallic percussion, and swells of chilled out pads and twinkling pianos making for an unsettlingly sensual track.

While presenting a discernible evolution from his past albums, Blacker has clearly concentrated his efforts on Themes of Carnal Empowerment toward a more substantive, conceptual release. True to the band’s name, the sound of ESA offers deeper meaning than most industrial noise artists, allowing the sparseness of actual melody or tonal progression to carry the mood while the beats and distortion fill in the gaps to keep the listener in a constant state of turmoil. Closing track, “Loss (Prurient Symphony)” acts as a perfect example as D.Diabolique’s somber narration atop a subtle, frigid atmosphere gives rise to a sudden explosion of noise that finally descents into sonic chaos before dissipating into silence, and then operatic swells that signify the end of this first dark chapter in what is surely ESA’s most thoughtful outing thus far.
Track list:

  1. Red Passage Overture
  2. With this Cold Kiss I Will Wound
  3. The Plot Sickens
  4. Carved Scars of Carnality
  5. Black Trip
  6. Wretch
  7. Themes of Carnal Empowerment (feat. Blue Mayhem & Riotmiloo)
  8. The Relevant Flesh
  9. Bliss
  10. This is Not Love
  11. Loss (Prurient Symphony)

ESA Website http://www.electronicsubstanceabuse.com
ESA MySpace http://www.myspace.com/electronicasubstanceabuse
ESA Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ElectronicSubstanceAbuse
ESA SoundCloud http://soundcloud.com/esa-1
Tympanik Audio Website http://tympanikaudio.com
Tympanik Audio MySpace http://myspace.com/tympanik
Tympanik Audio Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tympanik-Audio/137795642739
Tympanik Audio Twitter http://twitter.com/tympanik
Tympanik Audio Bandcamp http://tympanikaudio.bandcamp.com
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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