'Finis'

by Marspiter [FSH016]

Reviewed by Troy Southgate

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Available from Foreshadow Productions c/o Arkadiusz Mlyniec, Waska 1, 39-230 Brzostek, Poland.

A FTER having covered the former Marspiter album in a previous instalment of Synthesis (see http://www.rosenoire.org/reviews/marspiter-vigila.php), I was eager to find out whether this one was able to match the brilliance of 'Vigila'. Bound within a DVD case bearing minimalist scenes of dramatic nature and forged upon an unmarked and anonymous slab of plastic quartz, this CD contains two untitled tracks.

The opening rumble sounds like an Endura bitch suffering from a migraine during a bout of pre-menstrual tension. A darkly oppressive drone wanders through a growling labyrinthine soundscape like a bear woken in mid-hibernation by a gang of opportunistic honey thieves. It's like listening to Lustmord in the throbbing heart of an aluminium factory staffed by an occasional cacophony of tuneless monotone monks who, rather than being tonsured, should have had their throats cut at birth. 'The Name of the Rose' meets 'Beneath the Planet of the Apes' and the whole frightful horrorshow assails the senses like a compulsory evening spent in the train-rumbled confines of the London Dungeon.

After fifteen minutes, things begin to deepen significantly and the incessant tone begins to resemble a demented Lee Marvin talking into a paper cup with laryngitis. In fact the whole package fast became one of the most sinister listening experiences that I'd ever experienced and for a moment I felt genuinely relieved that there wasn't a single drip of lysergic acid diethylamide in the house (or in my system, come to that). As the perpetual drone finally begins to subside around the twenty-six minute mark, I ponder on the eternal question of whether Current 93's 'Dog's Blood Rising' will - from this day forward - sound more girly than the pre-pubescent squealers of St. Winifred's School Choir. Meanwhile, before you have time to collect your thoughts the second slice of harsh ambience is upon you like a starving werewolf and the brief respite is over. Once again, the style takes the form of a perpetual drone, although this time you can sense the forced presence of a series of slightly harsher frequencies and high-pitched female operatics. It is as though the entire cultural association of darkest Cthulhu were enjoying a gloomy trip to the Opera House form Hell along with Moaning Minnie and her Miserable Minions.

This is soon followed by a strange chorus that sounds like Clannad being played backwards amid the sound of low-flying aircraft. And then, finally, the operatics return before yet more sombre drones find themselves slightly tinged with quick bursts of Classical music, baritone voices and fantastic militaristic snares. This is a truly glorious part of the album, make no mistake. The cornucopia of samples would make a great film soundtrack, although if such a project were ever undertaken I doubt whether it would be released by Walt Disney.

To summarise, then, whilst this effort is vastly different to 'Vigila', it is certainly in the same league and has to be one of the most intimidating soundscapes available. I'm told this is Marspiter's parting shot and that another project, Transcendent Device, will soon follow. But regardless of this fact, 'Finis' is simply not for the faint-hearted.

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