Category: Industrial / Noise
Album: A Quiet State
Blurb: Virulently noisy as ever, but with a renewed sense of vitality and orchestral scope, mindFluxFuneral breaks its seven year silence with a highly accomplished album.
It’s been quite some time since we’ve heard from the Chicago duo of J.Prost and T.Smith, collectively known as mindFluxFuneral; however, given the immediacy and the virulence of the band’s latest album, the title A Quiet State is something of a welcome misnomer. 2007’s Teatro de Revelatión, one of the first releases for the then burgeoning BitRiot label alongside fellow noisemakers Cyanotic, was a strident leap forward in the band’s development – filled to the brim with complex arrangements of intricately programmed rhythms and distorted ambience, coupled with intelligent if subtly evasive songwriting. On A Quiet State, the band continues in this direction with a palpable sense of vigor and a heightened emphasis on melody.
A large portion of that melody is delivered by T.Smith, for although he maintains the Ogre-esque raspy tone with his voice that is so beloved in the genre, the prevalent use of vocoder and other complementary effects infuses quite a bit of musical finesse. This is especially notable on “Love Like Pesticide” as he howls atop a simple yet inviting chord progression that despite the clamor of guitar feedback and discordant electronic squelches bears the emotive atmosphere of a ballad. Similarly, the highly processed guitar effects in “Drive by Anarchist” belie the song’s inherent sense of melancholy, felt most effectively by T.Smith’s voice, while the instrumental “Sunsets Our Death” calms the proceedings down with a strolling bass line and airy pads that makes for a rather pensive but lovely track. “Waiting to Make You Real” is also a standout track as it begins as a slowly marching procession, the blasts of horn-like synths accompanying the beats in quite an epic fashion, the tempo doubling and the synths becoming ever more frantic as the song progresses for a briefly danceable excursion. On the other end of the spectrum are tracks like “Anguish” and “Controlled Bleeding,” the latter featuring some additional programming by Cyanotic’s Sean Payne and being an especially vicious and discordant track for its scathing noisiness and dark ambient interlude, albeit a highly energetic one due to is manic drum & bass rhythms. The album’s final moments amplify the tension as “No Way Back” builds from a menacing bed of percussion and electrified synths, creating a symphony of dissonance always on the cusp of a sonic eruption, and the concluding title track moves at a languid and patient pace as faux-strings and pianos underscore ghostly vocoder as caustic percussion and glitches steadily appear to end the album in a dreamlike technological haze.
The music of mindFluxFuneral requires no small amount of desire and patience in order for the average listener to penetrate the veritable wall of noise that may at first seem oppressive, but after repeated listens reveals itself to be merely a spinal ingredient upon which some excellently harmonious moods are created. In a manner that is still reminiscent of the best elements of Skinny Puppy with the decidedly modern edge akin to the likes of Prometheus Burning – gritty and rough, but never sloppy – and with a penchant for sophisticated arrangements that are almost orchestral in their scope, A Quiet State is a highly accomplished album that proves to have been well worth the seven year wait.
mindFluxFuneral Website http://mff.180.net
mindFluxFuneral Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mindfluxfuneral
mindFluxFuneral Twitter https://twitter.com/MindFluxFuneral
minxFluxFuneral SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/mindfluxfuneral
mindFluxFuneral Bandcamp https://mindfluxfuneral.bandcamp.com
New Underground Media Records
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)