“Breathe” equates to dark ambient layers of astral drone with indecipherable sounds of live horror and suffering, with possibly even rants of insanity slightly below the surface. When I say “drone” I don’t mean boring and monotonous, it’s more like classic Lustmord nightmarish electronic drifts of soothing and yet unnerving pieces of Hell being gradually implanted into my subconscious while I’m in a half anesthetized state of mind. The world is blurry to all five of my senses but I can still make out the piercing hints of noise, like a saw carving methodically through metal dissolved into thick drawn out moments of my chloroform haze. Eventually shuffling huffs and wafts of almost human sound, including grunts and maniacal sadistic monologue with the occasional thump of something heavy dropping come to the forefront and out shriek the drone with a burst of gritty power electronic real-time manipulating that borders on experiencing electrocution while hallucinating and numbed on opiates. This is an ideal night listening while reading true crime and criminal psychology books as it does nicely convey a sense of horror of drugged torture and weird psychological suspense , but wrapped up softly in warm frequencies to soften to blow (so to speak). The title is therefore cleverly ironic, as this is more like suffocation than freely breathing.
“Abortion Rites” combines distorted bass blurbs, junk metal clanking, and shrill noise tantrums over a really nice neo-classical synthesizer foundation. It’s sort of like something serene and beautiful being set on fire, pissed on, shit on, and absolutely destroyed only adapted to a listening format versus a visual one. I also can’t help but completely love the weird sense of something repeatedly falling: “Pheeeeeeewwwwwwmmmmmmm” , but never dropping, amidst very fuzzy distorted blurbs of human voice saturated in echo and delay, and then it DOES drop with a massive bass thud that strains the speakers. There’s no way…NO WAY…this guy has this stuff rehearsed!!! It’s so fluid and real and yet still jagged enough to be unsettling to some listeners.
“What You Believe” is my favorite of the four tracks for the sheer fact that it starts out sounding like a steam engine train coming into a tunnel puffing rumbling bass tones and a distinctly repetitive pattern of rhythm inducing hypnosis so that you barely realized death occurred seconds before. Lots of scrap metal being tossed around and explosions in the background appear as the train has crashed and the tragic reality has slowly sunk in with a whir of chopping rhythms from a helicopter hovering over the wreckage. Next sporadic gun fire and phaser beam blasts make the scene, eventually evolving into a new power electronic opus that does honestly resemble moments of Death Factory, Machinen Unter Kontrolle, complete with a continual looping of an alarm like sound and a bunch of apocalyptic war audio streamed and warped beneath it. BUT the best moments come toward the last 4 minutes when the weird loony is yelling and ranting to his doctor about his continually deteriorating mental health state as the looping alarm and explosions continually drown out his raving. That last four minutes is the only reason that “What You Believe” stands out amongst the three other incredible sonic brain twisters, and even then it’s a tough call to make because they are all brilliant.
Much like Death Factory and Nyodene D, Xiphoid Dementia completely flushes the boundaries between power electronic, noise, purely experimental, and dark ambient. Sometime there’re lush fuzzed out walls of sonic noise such as with The Rita, others a bit of shrieking feedback that is unsettling to the nervous system (think Hal Hutchinson/Richard Ramirez), some glacial astral drone with a sense of psychosis right beneath the haze (Cloama), a bit of industrialized neo-classical hinting at some In Slaughter Natives, and you hopefully get an idea of the scope covered.
Click play below to hear “What You Believe”: