Friday, 9 August 2019

Murderous Vision - Abscission

Album: Abscission
Catalogue no: N/A


     1.      Breaking the Bonds of Light
     2.      Echoed Voice
     3.      Autumn Black
     4.      Open the Night Sky

Murderous Vision (aka Stephen Petrus) has been around for 25 years, in which the project has released approaching a dozen albums as well as myriad contributions to compilations for various labels including Petrus’ own Live Bait Recording Foundation. Abscission (the shedding of various parts of an organism) is MV’s latest production, appearing on Derek Rush’s Chthonic Streams label in a very limited edition of 50 cassettes with full-colour double-sided inlay card.

The opening track, ‘Breaking the Bonds of Light’, breathes into being quietly and gently, a susurrating whisper breezing through a forest in the autumn as leaves fall almost soundlessly to create a rust-coloured carpet. Steadily, the tempo increases presaging the metamorphosis into winter, the time when nature’s activities cease and descend into hibernation. The irony here, of course, is that the beauty we so ardently admire is actually a signal of death, a cycle the repeats endlessly as seasons come and go. ‘Echoed Voice’, by contrast, pulses and throbs rhythmically, interrupted only by a slightly distorted voice narrating over a clangorous resonance. This is just a prelude to a martial percussive beat seguing in accompanied by seismic drones and throaty voices, emerging as from some deep subterrestrial chasm. This is the earth speaking, perhaps to tell us something if only we could understand its language.

‘Autumn Black’ is also speaking from the earth, but this time from the upper realms of mountains and plateaux. A whistling lament, upheld by a simple rhythm and a cold filmic blanket of sighing and exhalations, whirls and swirls on secret currents and updrafts, propelling us where it wills. On the other hand ‘Open the Night Sky’ is a mechanical beast, pulsating and nauseous, full of fire and brimstone, brooding, menacing, threatening, all-conquering, spitting venomous words like explosions of hot lava. These are the poisonous breaths of Shiva, the Destroyer, eliminating evil and its suppurating wounds. It is, perhaps, a warning and a prognostication, a slight lifting of the veil of fate.

These four tracks deserve a wider audience – this is noise and death ambient/industrial at its most refined. Its lack of bombast allows it to seep into the consciousness surreptitiously, boring into it where it will either germinate and/or fester. Crunch and teeth-grinding whine has its place, but sometimes dialling back the levels is far more effective. Murderous Vision has honed the technique to brilliant effect here: investigating more of Petrus’ output is definitely on my to-do list.

Psymon Marshall 2019

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