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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Xiphoid Dementia - Might is Blight [Existence Establishment - 2009]

‘Might is Blight’ offers up quite a varied, original and often bleakly epic mixture of: electronic and junk based industrial textures, powerful and avant grade tinged neo-classical elements, animal and environmental field recordings, power electronics and cinematic tinged noise.

Each of the six ten minute plus tracks that make up the album seem to tell their own distinctive sound story and tale which all links nicely together to make this epic, yet never over indulgent record. To give you idea of the scope and variation on offer here I’ll give you a run down of a few my  favourite moments; ‘Never Power Ocean’ starts out with lapping and slowing crashing field recordings of the sea and sea gull calling, which is soon joined by ominous & looming hunting horn calls. As the track progresses brooding drums and deep synthetic bass horn textures are added as the sea recordings start to get more active and manic. But just when you think it’s going to suddenly explode the field recordings drop into lulling & errier underwater field recordings; and the  drums and deep brass elements are stripped and replaced with whale like calls and drifting, soothing and subtle synth textured bobbing. Around the seven minute mark the peaceful yet growing uneasy atmosphere is suddenly fired with brooding electronic pulses and  groaning and clanging steel textures. And pretty soon afterwards  slow-monition feedback and echo burnt  slamming beat punchers are added to the mix, then things turn very nightmarish as the track starts to get more seared and violent as it nears it’s end.

Later on we have the track ‘None shall inherit the Earth’ which for the first half of the track mixtures: building and epic synthetic string sound tracking and grace, with sudden, loud and very jarring  power electronic bellows and feedback engulfed grunts. In the second half it kicks in with brooding and feedback stretched synth dramatics that are burnt and atmospherically slice by high pitched to huge rumbling noise textures which soon get underfeed by stuck neo classical rhythmic attacks.

All told a very impressive, dramatic and epic work that flirts between grandeur, atmosphere , building and nasty noise attacks, highly creative mood setting and sonic creativity. Its all the more impressive when you find out that the whole things done by one person; namely Boston based Egan Budd who’s been creating music and noise under the Xiphoid Dementia  banner since 2002. So if you enjoy dramatic, bleak and end of the world type mix of industrial, neo-classic, noise and soundtrack music this is defiantly for you.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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