Mayan Apocalypse - Disconnect [Forever Escaping Boredom - 2014]Had the Mayan Apocalypse "prophecy" come true, the world would've suffered devastating cataclysms resulting in the death of mankind. While definitely a bummer, this destruction would've saved me thousands of dollars on hookers and, more importantly, it would've saved me from having to hear Mayan Apocalypse - Disconnect. I know what you're thinking, "Really? Thousands?" Yeah, probably, but lets focus on the review at hand. Mayan Apocalypse comprises the cats behind Voidmind and Black Beast of Arrrghhh. Having never heard either act, I went into Disconnect with an open mind. As open as a mind can get, though, it's nearly impossible to escape all the dislikes that have helped to shape that mind over the years.
Disconnect consists of five tracks. The intro, "Gate," is over seven minutes of ritual chanting (long oms and om mani padme hum) and sparse xylophone notes. Slight, alien drones fill the back and add a bit of hidden cave like atmosphere to the song. The chant is loud and not very subtle, but on the whole, this song works well enough. Unfortunately, this is where the album falls off the rails. If you're into annoying Southerners and poorly recorded (sounds it, anyway) yelling, this may be the track for you. The piano notes in the back are nice, but otherwise, the noise is lackluster, to say the least. Did I mention how annoying the "righteous indignation" is? I liken it to hearing girls yell in hardcore bands. If you haven't skipped ahead to the next song after five minutes, good news...you've got eleven more to suffer through. Am I really listening to someone yell about Facebook? Next track, please. God, I wish it were that easy. "Washed Away" takes a very different approach. Leaning more toward the sounds on the first song, this track hits more of a meditative vibe. However, instead of annoying me through ineffective yelling, the vocals take the form of goofy, ham-handed, Dadaist, stream of conscious style "poetry." This may work for some, but I've never been a fan of super random lines being smashed together as art. To me, this reeks of effort in a "Look how artistic I am" sense. I hate it. The music is nice enough, but at fifteen minutes, even that can't save this artistic implosion. "Syntex Reflection" gives us high pitched, thin, crunching with bell like tones and MORE VERBAL NONSENSE. This time, though, it's kinda cut up and has some delays on it. If you can get through the fourteen minutes of this, you're treated to the final track, "Exist." This super minimalist minute sounds like a quiet version of the sounds from Superman on the Atari 2600.
I sat through this album six or seven times, and six or seven times, I became enraged and couldn't wait for the album to end. This should've been put out by Forever Inducing Boredom instead. I mentioned above that I've never heard Voidmind nor Black Beast of Arrrghhh, but now I will make a point to avoid them at all costs. And, to be honest, I will definitely think twice about checking out anything put out by this label.Paul Casey