Artist: Acid Enema
Title: Misanthropic Visions
Label: Legs Akimbo Records (UK)
Review by Tërrørgåsm
From the debauched pits of desert wasteland, Sin City, the third full-length from electronic black metal freaks Acid Enema, “Misanthropic Visions” was excreted into the world in the last cold month of 2015, and although it flew under the radar of most blackmetalvores (it was independently released with 100 copies), the tracks contained on this album are worth delving into for any fanatic of aural dark arts.
The first cut “Hymn for the Godless” starts out auspiciously enough with a cold, discordant riff and atonal howling which calls to mind work from such depressive black acts as Mütiilation and Xasthur (the latter having participated in a split with AE fifteen years back, which was my introduction to the project). The band has changed in its style a few times since its inception in 1995 and what’s on display here is an amalgamation of pathos-driven DSBM and aggressive speedcore, or gabber style industrial hardcore techno, so the drums are all programmed blasting over the desolate guitars, which are fleshed out by new addition to the band Noth.
“Eviscerating God” moves the album along with the rasping fury of Abhorrent’s maddened screams amid dissonant chord shapes and the thwomping electronic bass drums, which take room in the mix at times to emulate the acid house dance music of the Dutch techno scene; a fairly bizarre notion that somehow executes seamlessly here. Sampled dialog clips are stitched in to proper gloomy effect, opening the rager “To Live Means Nothing” like a gaping neck wound, perhaps the catchiest track on this disc. “Hurt Me 2015” is an eerie instrumental track consisting of warped ambient sound effects, a militant processed snare drum, and the explosive crunch of a synth beat over a sample of a woman saying “Please don’t hurt me”, followed by (presumably the same woman’s) tortured screams looped over the chaotic noise for a truly disturbing experience, seguing into the title track, an ominous and harrowing slab of harsh pulsing grimness which holds the listener under the brackish depths of mental depravity with captivating keyboard and bass rhythms, unhinged atmospheric noise and tormented howling screams, blasting to a final oblivion with nihilistic assurance.
There are some DJ remixes after that, but I found them largely unlistenable noise, like the disc was skipping. Damn kids. One exception was the “Death in the Desert” mix of “To Live Means Nothing” by Noth, with clean sung female vocals; it’s a brooding, slow number with fuzzy synth beats, melodic keys and slightly off-key warbling, putting a fittingly strange cap on the album (the less said about the preceding “live” oi-punk beer hall rendition of Pennywise’s “Bro Hymn”, the better.)
Overall, this is a very bleak and existentially grim experience taken as a whole; my first listening was in a dilapidated old apartment, deliriously sick with winter cold and depression, and I recalled a time several years back when I’d been incarcerated in the city jail for three weeks, eating the tepid gruel they served for meals only often enough to stay alive, and never during that time being able to defecate. Upon my release I dreaded the inevitable bowel eruption to come, as the cold churning in my twisted guts grew more painfully insistent. Eventually I found myself doubled over upon the Foul Throne, with tears on my face as what felt like thorn covered granite extruded from below, over the space of what seemed like several hours. I’d begun to feel my conscious mind attempting to leave from my spasming, convulsing body amid hallucinations of giving anal birth to a hideous hateful demonspawn which would certainly shred me to pieces entirely. The memory of this terrible moment enveloped me whilst enthralled in the mind-rending strains of this album, huddled in the filthy, frigid dimness of my squalid dwelling quarters. Going back to it for this review, I can only hope that you reading this will be brave enough to seek out this album for yourself and discover where it may take you….