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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Loss - "Sick"

Artist: Loss
Album: Sick
Year: 2014
Label: Ant Zen
Genre: Noise, Industrial, Power Electronics, Doom
Website: www.ant-zen.com

After quite a lengthy silence, it seems like Loss has returned full force. After releasing an album last year and a collab with Philipp Munch earlier this year, Loss is back with his second full length on Ant Zen entitled Sick.

Sick starts off with "Perdition", a nearly 10 minute dirge of doom-y noise which ever so languidly builds into a crushing wall of epic melancholy. It could have been a few minutes shorter, but I generally like where it's taking me. The second track "The (Broken) Promise Ring" transports us into vaguely more musical territory. This one brings to mind the sound from the Transcontinental Desperation split album, but taken to more chaotic and harsh sectors of the human psyche. Despite the ridiculously garbled vocals, you can genuinely feel the musician's pain and inner turmoil painted in this piece. I think the best way I can describe it is: broken EBM. Or maybe EBM written by a broken man? "Mania" is up next and I find it quite hard to describe this track. Another mix of static-y noise mixed with industrial-ish drums with bouts of somber pads and tormented vocals. Things slow down on the ambient passage "session 02", an empty hallway lined with swirling analog squelches. One of my favorites on the album is "And the Maggots Surrounded Her..." which is a super heavy piece that combines a churning maelstrom of distorted beats with ultra sad pads. The rest carries on in a similar manner and ends with another one of my favorites, "Despondency" which continues to pummel the listener with the sombre, cinematic pad and noisy beat combo. However, this track is a bit more open and the elements have more space to breath and spread as their mucky tendrils coil into your subconscious. My only major critique with the record is that the production is somewhat bad and everything is quite formless & muddy. These elements could have been made significantly clearer and punchier and still achieved a similar feeling of decay and hopelessness.

I didn't like this album as much as the previous one, I Am But The Sum Of My Conditions, but I certainly appreciate what he has crafted. Sick is an extremely dense and noisy affair which very clearly conveys the dark depths of sorrow and torment. Kind of like a more extreme Lexincrypt or similar dark electro-industrial act. I really love his emotive pads and the coupling of said pads with ultra crunchy, uncompromising beats. Overall, where I felt the previous album was more of an amalgam of other artists, this one has more of a signature vibe to it and feels more cohesive as a whole. Definitely something to check out for people who want to experience the crux of depressing industrial music.

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