The Vomit Arsonist - Only Red
What a delight! One of my favorite power electronics projects strikes once again with its new full-length album Only Red released through Malignant records during 2015. This time Andrew Grant continues his pace expressing himself through a violent and uncompromising musical genre and the material which is presented on this CD is a direct confirmation of his ability to create a really lovely (if you can call it that) atmosphere. It is not a secret that experimental music and especially power electronics often becomes a trumpet of some very personal processes that happen inside artists' inner world. I believe that Andrew Grant and his visions with The Vomit Arsonist are not an exception from this statement. The last time that I was under influence of his music, I felt a true union with its sharp edges of raw and brutal sound, maybe because the music vibrated at the same frequency with my local insanity during this period of my life.
Taken from the Heathen Harvest interview conducted in November of 2015, the Vomit Arsonist said: I've been on various psychological medications since I was nine years old, and in 2013, I stopped taking them. It was an experiment that I felt I needed to conduct, and it failed horribly. I chose to stop taking them because I'd realized that I never really had any life experience that didn't involve Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, or some other drug like that... It was the worst year of my life. I ended up going back to them because I couldn't handle it. I'm not sure if it was prolonged withdrawal symptoms or if I’m really just that fucked up, but I had a complete breakdown and ended up in a really bad spot. I learned a lot about myself in the process—not necessarily things I wanted to know. But that's what the album is about.
I have never had such an experience before that’s why it is quite hard for me to judge about the difference between the visions' perspective while you are on medicine for mental stabilization. But Only Red can definitely be a possible guidance to the whole depth of one's despair and depression. I can confidently assume that each and every track of this record expresses an exact moment of the experiment that Andrew carried over himself and each of them symbolizes a specific period of a drug rehab. An opening track under the code name 'Choice' welcomes listener with deep and rough bass frequencies which are so common to the Vomit Arsonist's vision of power electronics music. Slowly, a ritualistic percussion joins the scene to inject more rhythm or even a kind of solemnity to the composition that represents a measured but still a tough moral choice of the musician towards his way of living and destiny. The music doesn't change its tempo during all the seven and a half minutes, but it remains quite entertaining due to the power which it carries both in its structure and in the violent vocals of Andrew. The same tempo continues in 'Only Red', but with a little bit of a faster speed forcing me to head bang to its brutal rhythm. 'Nothing Matters' slows down my senses a little bit, but slips into an even deeper depression and apathy reflecting some kind of a borderline condition of the artist when everything loses its taste and the world around wears all sorts of grey colors.
A complete chaos starts to envelop me when the album reaches the point of an acceptance of the fact that 'It Just Is' and nothing can be done to improve or change the condition. Pity that it is extremely difficult for me to understand the lyrics behind the distorted vocal session, but I try my best to set a mental connection with the concept behind the album; and it seems that I succeeded in that process to be able to guess the possible message behind each track. 'I'm Not Fine' brings force a comprehension of the fact that refusing medicine doesn't bring any happiness or living harmoniously with oneself. It's time to beat the drums and shout out loud; and strictly speaking, our hero spits all the desperation from the moment into this specific composition. Aggressive and sharp drones float out of my speakers; a pulsating energy of Mr. Grant hits me again and again, showing the whole spectrum of human disappointment and sadness.
The record starts to slow down with 'No One Can Help You', turning into complete psychotic ambiance with no place for light and happiness. An offensive, drilling background is covered with a sorrowful roar of a wounded creature seeking for relief at any cost. 'Unwelcome Peace' drops down into the creepy atmosphere of death industrial with countless demons crawling out of each corner of my imagination trying to spoil it with their unholy whispers. And in the end, Andrew decides to put the last cement block over the fresh grave of my sanity with an extreme track 'GW(RDX)', presenting another piece of a classic sound which every fan of power electronics will definitely adore.
Once again Mr. Grant shows his ability to create a truly dark and emotionally charged record. It is more depressive than the previous album that was released through Malignant Records, but still it carries some fine pieces of energetic sound manipulations. Straight forward, deep bass passages full of anger and rage became a trademark of The Vomit Arsonist without inventing anything new, Andrew succeeds in molding something special in each and every record. I must admit that after many years of musical explorations Only Red didn't became for me a ground breaking and genre establishing album, but it is mature and solid enough to reach the high rating. I would like to wish Andrew strong health and even more experiments with his demons.
Apr 26 2016
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance
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