Anxietous bodhi via acoustophoresis — Sorceries divined through inhumane percussive stamina emit waves that’ve propagated with unclear reason, the object (or, the listener) feels no ascension and in turn assumes nothing benevolent slides along their wave-tremble’d spine. The object (or, the container) and its atmospheric confines enables the greater stasis of this levitation hex as corridors of growl and bursting low frequencies act as peristalsis against any enlightened flow. Mass curses, violent acts, and culling slashes of sonic horror are all dependent on the induction of the heart and not in a mystic sense but the literal condition of it’s reaction against rapid-attack stimulus — Plague Organ‘s steady stream of battery is attuned to the fight-or-flight of all mammalian species, the panic that both warrior and prey experience before a moment of survival or acts of murderous domination. The Netherlands-based extreme metallic experimental drum n’ horror noise duo accentuate this exploding heart technique with the bellows of war meant to fill great open air and carry well enough above screams and across plains to reach the ear of both banded predator and skittering mark. Nonetheless this spectacle cannot compete with fitness or, a heart able to shake blood and power toward nimble-limbed and mentally steadied beasts who’d match the racing aggression’s pace with stamina. ‘Orphan’ is an acoustic levitation for the most apex prey it reaches, a gravity felt yet still an ascension beyond norms and in the simplest terms, a challenge.

“Experimental” is a curse, an intentional word that maintains the righteous distance between ignorant mouth-breathing masses and various modalities of artistic construction. One could assume something improvised, something ‘outsider’, a non-commercial piece with personal artistic motives. How then, does this reality work when counter-culture is normative in the realm of odd beasts (“heavy music”, for example)? It serves as a categorization for formative ideas (Rhadamantys), a playground for folks who’re able to thrill the lowest common denominator with their own mastery (Pan.Thy.Monium), and (most ideally) a safe space for gallery-worthy musical ideas to reach high functioning minds(Chaos Echœs). This particular project could arguably fit into any and all of those three categories depending how you approach it and with consideration for the artist’s other ventures. Plague Organ certainly comes from forward-thinking minds who’ve utilized their taste in many extreme forms to push limits in both “commercial” and entirely non-commercial ways, notably René Aquarius who is best known as the drummer for Imperial Cult and DungeönHammer as well as the wildly surrealistic Cryptae and ever-evolving Dead Neanderthals. Here his beat is unrepentant as a full 39 minute blast that waivers very, very slightly in the last ten minutes where I believe there are 2-3 single measure shifts as the scouring sonic harass of the album reaches its most fevered point.

The spine of the album is this slapping atmospheric extreme metal beat, which is appropriate for both modern black and death metal applications, but it might as well be a machine without the heavily layered performances looped along it. This is where the collaboration between Aquarius and White Noise Studios’ Marlon Wolterink begins to bear fruit as the piece feels like a temporally stretched introduction for a song by Abyssal or ‘Seepia’-era Portal, a bit of echoing horror set to a tribal and/or mystic droning sensorial corridor of downward pouring primal noise. This of course has me slapping my forehead for not “getting” the semi-improvisational genius of Chaos Echœs ‘Mouvement’ back in 2018 as quickly as I’ve -gotten- this piece. In fact I’ve probably lent too many death metal references to an album that is probably going to appeal more to black metal’s most sophisticated dark ambient/experimental noise sector as a whole; There are no ‘riffs’ or perhaps any guitars at all and much of the experience comes from the haunting perpetual motion of the piece as it introduces digeridoo-esque bass plunges, incomprehensible death metal roars, and incessant monastic moaning. This harmonized nigh-guttural vocal noise has cultural implications for nearly every listener and should reach an ancestral place in your gut as it pairs with frothy growling and the unending blast of the piece. When small guitar trills float into the piece it all becomes a bit more clear why I’m so inflamed by it — Countless hours spent listening to Glenn Branca in my youth prepared me for this different sort of droning experience which is perhaps far more minimalistic in terms of phrasing but provides the same effect, apropos for folks who’ve been desensitized into unwavering stone via extreme metal. Broken down to the very experiential marrow of it all, ‘Orphan’ is more musically related to Neu! than any sonic brutality I’d mentioned previous.

A slow blooming vortex, void, an eternity in stasis and eventually a glowing levitation — The simultaneous sensation of unstoppable motion and guided meditation amounts to an entirely unique experience as ‘Orphan’ separates the mind from the pressure of time and place, this is where I’d suggest the value of this Plague Organ piece lies: How you react to it. I believe for some it will be a horn blast unto Hell, a dive bomb. Others will parse it to pieces and be left with a pile of “parts” and layers, no movement. For those willing to be pushed over the edge, reach a comfortably howling ‘terminal velocity’, and cease to feel any such gravity regular spins of this piece may be an elixir of delirium to set the mind outside the involved ‘self’, a forceful and engaging meditation at the very least. The cover artwork is quite different for artist Stefan Thanneur in terms of its chinois vellum pallor and gorgeous use of tones. The visual is both inviting and foreboding, revealing the potential affect of the music but not giving away a hint of its tomb-like endpoint. All the more incentive to encourage a vinyl release and buy a frame for the wall. The only caveat here is more of a warning, if you’re prone to listen to a piece to death certainly let this breathe as a one-off daily mediation rather than an endless loop. The momentum of the piece is mentally savage and difficult to break from in a single sitting, hitting the pause button leaves something unfinished and brutalizes the built tension of a piece that should flow all at once. By your own will. A high recommendation.

High recommendation.

Rating: 8 out of 10.
LABEL(S):Sentient Ruin Laboratories
RELEASE DATE:August 28th, 2020
BUY & LISTEN:Bandcamp [All Formats]
GENRE(S):Experimental Black Metal

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