The Blood of Others - I Used To Think Everything Was Beautiful
The Portland, Oregon based Industrial/Witch house/industrial project The Blood of Others takes his name right after Simone de Beauvoir novel of the same name in which themes of freedom, responsibility, and how one's actions effect another. Though written as a novel proclaiming that not to resist Nazi occupation in France is to accept defeat, the themes and novel itself are timeless and has been studied countless times by scholars around the world. Taking on a powerful name from a revered book means The Blood of Others needs to match the sentimental statement in both song and lyric.
The Blood of Others debut album I Used To Think Everything Was Beautiful is more or less, as the producer himself put, "...an exploration of self-destruction and nature...". The brooding and dark sound that's brought out throughout the album rings true with the description and founder Michael Kurt's somber vocals help steer the album in the right direction.
Songs such as 'When The Light Takes Us' shows off a cinematic approach as like acoustic plucking, static atmosphere, and mourning synths all play together with Kurt's struggling voice. From there the album moves into an industrial/witch house hemisphere from 'To The Silent' to the ending track 'I See Bad Spirits'.
While The Blood of Others touts that he utilizes witch house I see it more or less as an influence rather than a direct contribution to the music he makes. There are some dragging notes and some of the lo-fi electronic presence that has allowed witch house to thrive, but the only song that I found to really fit the witch house mold was the instrumental track 'Midwinter Ritual'. I really don't need to explain myself further as the title of that song sings witch house, so I'll leave it at that.
That's not a bad thing however as the throbbing industrial beats and folk instruments still manage to get the job done. Boris May of industrial/electronica duo Klangstabil also came along to deliver spoken word lyrics on the song 'We Will Shine'. I could see this man being a motivational speaker.
The only real area where I could see The Blood of Others improve is being more harmonic with his singing. A lot of the times it feels like he's struggling between doing spoken word and trying to match the beat and rhythm of the song. He has a good style down; it's morbid and fits the pessimistic attitude The Blood of Other puts out. Now he just needs to master his voice and figure out how he can flow and match it with his music better.
That being said, I Used To Think Everything Was Beautiful is a lovely debut album. There is a future for Michael Kurt and I think seeing him experiment more will go over well. I look forward to hearing more from this act in the future; he's on my radar.
Aug 06 2016
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I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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The Blood of Others