Sep 2023 16

Album CoverSeethe
Album: Delenda: A Black Rose on the Epitaph
Category: Industrial / Hardcore / Noise
Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2023-08-18
Author: Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)


Patrick McElravy has certainly been busy as this year, with Delenda: A Black Rose on the Epitaph marking his second Seethe album of 2023 (third if you count the collaboration with Dead Prophet Alive). As can be discerned from the title, these nine tracks delve into some bleak and blackened territory as the Pittsburgh-based artist presents his struggles with manic depression and bipolar disorder in auditory form, each titled after a specific phobia. As this writer is not an aficionado of the current trends of trapcore, it can be difficult to properly assess the aesthetics presented on Delenda, leaving one to judge primarily on the effect that Seethe’s application of crushing distortion to virtually every instrumental element instills upon the listener… and even then, one might question if the titular affliction correlates properly to the lyrics. For example, a claustrophobe would likely have difficulty breathing amid the panicked response of enclosure or entrapment, but the lyrics to “Claustrophobia: Can’t Breathe” would seem to indicate something more akin to night terrors or nyctophobia – fear of the dark. Similarly, though the poetic lyrics of “Apeirophobia” do impart a sense of loss with lines like “a feeling of regret, a feeling that resents,” one might wonder what it has to do with a fear of boundless infinity, although the low and plucking synth tones are rather excellent; these, along with the radio broadcast samples from P.T. on “Autophobia: If You Will,” do possess a suitably ghostly vibe akin to Silent Hill. On the other hand, the themes of self-destruction on “Stygiophobia” are somewhat more palpable, especially conveyed through the ominous drones and rather spooky synth lines, McElravy’s vocals vacillating between rage and fatigue, as if resigned to the end, while the looping synth leads and generally monotonic ambience of “Chronophobia: Life’s Away” do well to convey the sense of “awaiting for some better days, the sun is gone as with the day.” Given the album’s dismally personal subject matter, it is perhaps appropriate that only the faintest glimmers of melody are buried within the raspy screams and unyielding distortions of Delenda; after all, facing one’s own mental health is not the most comfortable of pursuits, but there is some measure of comfort in sharing one’s suffering so earnestly, assuring others that it’s okay to not be okay.
Track list:

  1. Thanatophobia: Black Rose
  2. Claustrophobia: Can’t Breathe
  3. Atelophobia: Destitute
  4. Autophobia: If You Will
  5. Stygiophobia: Death Left Here
  6. Pistanthrophobia: Sold Me
  7. Chronophobia: Life’s Away
  8. Metathesiophobia: Linear
  9. Apeirophobia: In a Dream

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