Wednesday, April 3, 2013

REVIEW: Prurient - Through The Window

8.75 - out of 10

“If I could I would take a tree branch and ram it inside of you... but it's already been done.” This is “Palm Tree Corpse,” the fifth song on Prurient's 2011 album 'Bermuda Drain'. At first Dominick Fernow speaks this line in a plaintive tone. He sounds relaxed, almost disembodied as his words float alongside an ethereal synth melody. But as the song progresses, and Fernow continues to monotonously repeat this single lyric, a hellishly sinister sounds emerges. The melody changes, and right as we think the song is moving to a soft finale Fernow's voice explodes over the mix, screaming his sicko mantra like he is the last man alive. The rest of the album continues mostly in this same way, switching back and forth between hypnotic synth tracks and the relentless harsh noise Prurient has been unleashing upon us for the past decade.

On his most recent album, 'Through The Window', Fernow continues down the same path of Bermuda Drain, once again working in the terrain where fragile beauty and unbridled chaos clash. Except this time, it is not the Dark Synth-Pop/Post-Punk stylings of his side-project Cold Cave that he's drawing from; it is the ritualism of Techno. The album opens with an insidious, low-keyed beat. The sound is open, expressive; but really it is nothing that interesting. Then the beat stops and we are suspended in a moment of silence until the rest of the song begins. For seventeen minutes a carefully paced melange of ghostly synth arpeggios, modulating beats, indecipherable whispers, and bands of static envelops us in an ice cold world only Fernow could conjure. The next song seems oddly out of place: a four-minute track composed of vague Industrial Ambience, a pummeling beat, and a static voice that drifts away from any fixed rhythm. But, from the first seconds of the final song, “You Show Great Spirit,” our interest is renewed. Perhaps the crowning achievement of this album, “You Show Great Spirit” takes all the elements from the opening track and revs up the energy to a startling degree, bringing the record to a disorienting climax.

It is hard not to view 'Through The Window' in contrast to Prurient's past catalog, heralding this release as Dominick Fernow's attempt at “accessible” music. Yet, even though the record decidedly works within Techno's fundamental characteristics such as linear rhythms and slow build-ups, there is still something decidedly radical about 'Through The Window'. Simultaneously it tears apart and rebuilds the way Dominick has used his noise to create intensely terrifying atmospheres – the terror is still there, but in a more discreet way that is, in a way, all the more terrifying. While it is a pleasurable detour from face-eating noise, 'Through The Window' displays Fernow's unfaltering ability to create some of the most intense, enrapturing music.

Standout Tracks: All, but mainly "You Show Great Spirit"

No comments:

Post a Comment