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Pathogens - Soiled Cogs Forever Grinding [Scry Recordings/Black Horizons - 2020]

Hitting at a time when talk of pathogens, disease, and sickness are at an all time high, Pathogens' Soiled Cogs Forever Grinding EP is extremely timely. Spring is springing, and everyone is talking doom and gloom, so why not have a soundtrack for it? Crushing and suffocating, this EP from Pathogens (A.D. Carter) will crush your spirits and hopes as much as the locked door at your favorite bar during quarantine.

Three claustrophobic songs long, Soiled Cogs Forever Grinding is what EPs are made of. Long enough to sate one's hunger, but short enough to leave one wanting more, the tracks on this release efficiently do their best to bring you down. Anchored in the harsher side of death industrial, Cogs churns with a grim intensity that will leave the listener feeling unsettled and thankful for being put in such an uncomfortable place. Pairing menacing lows with contrasting highs, Pathogens frames the listener's experience and limits all sonic freedoms. Within the cacophonous confines, tension is added by exploding boiler percussion, screeching, reverbed shouts of impending doom, and disturbing samples. Showing for its entire runtime that this isn't a safe place to be, Cogs dares the listener to continue to stay in its grim, industrial slaughterhouse of sound. There is no avoiding the bleakness on display, and each spin reveals more of the uncompromising material on this EP. Mixed by Carter and mastered by Egan Budd (Xiphoid Dementia/Existence Establishment), there is an impressive amount of control put into this chaos. With all that can tip the balance from scorchingly scary to unlistenable, the care put into this is very welcome.

Pathogens' latest is a depressive dive into a twisted and torn psyche. Claustrophobic conditions and abusive atmospheres force the listener inward to confront themselves and all the issues running through his/her head. This is a grim slice of death industrial and perfectly timed for this current viral condition.

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

Paul Casey
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