Xiphoid Dementia - Secular Hymns
Death Industrial, Power Electronics Malignant records had been always thinking out of the box bringing something different and special with each and every release. All the records of this year contributed hours and hours of entertainment leaving significant traces in my coarsened musical taste. This week I received a CD that will close this truly productive year of Jason from Malignant and with the album from Xiphoid Dementia I will raise a toast for the long life and successful business of this label during the New Year party.

To be honest, I never paid attention to this project though it had been somewhere around for almost thirteen years. 'Secular Hymns' is already the fourth full album of Egan Budd, the man behind Xiphoid Dementia, and according to the official description it is an exploration of the author's inner world with all its love, hate and fears. Each personality has a lot of facets, the same with the music of this record that is painted with the colors of different genres to bring quite an experience for its listener.

If the music could be compared to alcoholic drinks, 'Secular Hymns' could have a taste of Jägermeister for sure. So many flavors are mixed together to create a one solid product, you never recognize all of them. "Abortion Rights" starts with a very wide choral drone that circles on and on inside the speakers creating an atmosphere of oppressive expectation. Slowly, a high scratching noise enters the stage guiding the same drone up to the fifth minute where the previous structure brakes into pieces with a sudden dive into the uncontrolled wall of power noise. The track slowly evolves again somewhere in the middle to give a space to a shouting distorted vocals supported by the same sonic hell of energetic scratches and impulses.

While I still try to digest what I heard during almost fifteen minutes of brainstorming, the second composition "My Time Will Never Come" arrives and verifies its name with an opening sound of clocks. A complex insanity continues with a huge structure of various industrial special effects being poured all together from different corners of Egan's imagination, drilling, sawing, energy pulsations, and waves of machinery create a constant turbulence. The mood in the track is changed again somewhere in the middle, transforming into synth-based floating melody with a bell beat, injecting a little bit of mystery into the thick layers of music.

Each composition demands the specific emotional state in order to feel it stronger, and so is with the upcoming "What You Believe" which draws the picture of industrial area full of sudden noises, breaking glass and accidentally working mechanisms like there is some ghost that plays inside the abandoned place trying to demolish everything around. Combining the elements of death industrial and power electronics, the author brings a dense vision of decay and devastation. A very creepy track under the name "Breathe" comes to close the show where dark soundscapes fill the all the space around, bound together with ropes of desperation. The ship of humanity sails through storms, all of its passengers try to fix the holes in its structure, while angry waves try to win the battle, but they don't understand that the war is lost already. In order to put a thick dot in the end of the album, Egan decides to add few minutes of his strong power electronics just a moment before the track fades away to glorify a successful sinking of the ship.

Because of its complex structure, 'Secular Hymns' keeps me involved during all its run, even though all the four tracks have a long playing time. I must admit that this record is not for easy listening for sure, because it demands a high concentration on each part and each tune in order to understand and feel the message and true art. Even though 'Secular Hymns' will not enter my golden list of "the best" listening material of all times, it has its own spirit and a special individuality that place it on a highest level of musical experience.
4
Brutal Resonance

Xiphoid Dementia - Secular Hymns

Malignant records had been always thinking out of the box bringing something different and special with each and every release. All the records of this year contributed hours and hours of entertainment leaving significant traces in my coarsened musical taste. This week I received a CD that will close this truly productive year of Jason from Malignant and with the album from Xiphoid Dementia I will raise a toast for the long life and successful business of this label during the New Year party.

To be honest, I never paid attention to this project though it had been somewhere around for almost thirteen years. 'Secular Hymns' is already the fourth full album of Egan Budd, the man behind Xiphoid Dementia, and according to the official description it is an exploration of the author's inner world with all its love, hate and fears. Each personality has a lot of facets, the same with the music of this record that is painted with the colors of different genres to bring quite an experience for its listener.

If the music could be compared to alcoholic drinks, 'Secular Hymns' could have a taste of Jägermeister for sure. So many flavors are mixed together to create a one solid product, you never recognize all of them. "Abortion Rights" starts with a very wide choral drone that circles on and on inside the speakers creating an atmosphere of oppressive expectation. Slowly, a high scratching noise enters the stage guiding the same drone up to the fifth minute where the previous structure brakes into pieces with a sudden dive into the uncontrolled wall of power noise. The track slowly evolves again somewhere in the middle to give a space to a shouting distorted vocals supported by the same sonic hell of energetic scratches and impulses.

While I still try to digest what I heard during almost fifteen minutes of brainstorming, the second composition "My Time Will Never Come" arrives and verifies its name with an opening sound of clocks. A complex insanity continues with a huge structure of various industrial special effects being poured all together from different corners of Egan's imagination, drilling, sawing, energy pulsations, and waves of machinery create a constant turbulence. The mood in the track is changed again somewhere in the middle, transforming into synth-based floating melody with a bell beat, injecting a little bit of mystery into the thick layers of music.

Each composition demands the specific emotional state in order to feel it stronger, and so is with the upcoming "What You Believe" which draws the picture of industrial area full of sudden noises, breaking glass and accidentally working mechanisms like there is some ghost that plays inside the abandoned place trying to demolish everything around. Combining the elements of death industrial and power electronics, the author brings a dense vision of decay and devastation. A very creepy track under the name "Breathe" comes to close the show where dark soundscapes fill the all the space around, bound together with ropes of desperation. The ship of humanity sails through storms, all of its passengers try to fix the holes in its structure, while angry waves try to win the battle, but they don't understand that the war is lost already. In order to put a thick dot in the end of the album, Egan decides to add few minutes of his strong power electronics just a moment before the track fades away to glorify a successful sinking of the ship.

Because of its complex structure, 'Secular Hymns' keeps me involved during all its run, even though all the four tracks have a long playing time. I must admit that this record is not for easy listening for sure, because it demands a high concentration on each part and each tune in order to understand and feel the message and true art. Even though 'Secular Hymns' will not enter my golden list of "the best" listening material of all times, it has its own spirit and a special individuality that place it on a highest level of musical experience. Dec 25 2012

Andrew Dienes

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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