REVIEW: Recant – “Subject to Affliction”

By Ray Van Horn, Jr.

Chain Border

Subject to AfflictionIn a review of this unit's previous offering, Gesture, this reviewer labeled them as the potential illegitimate offspring of Andy Warhol. Case in point, Recant's subsequent project, the first in a proclaimed five-part series, Subject to Affliction. A sampling of the fetus on both sides of the cover will instantly remind one of Warhol with the varied colors of the same subject, implying a dark artistic nuance that will prepare the listener for the equally tenebrous Subject to Affliction. As there are no listed tracks on this disc, it seems like Brian H and David Hurtt are in the process of creating the grand opus statement to this cold and caustic genre of experimental industrial. As on Gesture, Recant seeks to create a gloomy, apocalyptic and unbalanced ambience that sounds like the perfect suitor to a Mario Bava splatter flick.

The first track at a buck nineteen explodes with the customary harrowing vibes that finds its groove on the next track, nearly tribal amidst the screeching terror and jangling chaos. The erratic beats signal a demented yet interesting bout of madness that is screaming for visual representation, something Recant does well as multifaceted performance artists. The third track merges from the previous one with a different organization to its beats. Though the background noise will ultimately aggravate, it's the aggressive perverse beats that command the eardrum, something a tad different for this genre – a noticeable balance of order to coincide with the turmoil.

The fourth track seamlessly slides from its predecessor, warps and distills in its rising cacophony, while the final track is the most sublime, with carnival-like tones and hammering beats, a gory sounding soundtrack to a seriously fucked up horror movie. The final tones ring ominously like church bells, closing Subject to Affliction with an agreeably suspicious and contemplative finish.

It seems as if Recant is setting out to claim sovereignty of this grind industrial genre, whose archetype can probably be traced back to Pigface. While this reviewer personally finds most of the offerings to be hopelessly bitter, the angry ramblings of an outcast society of progressive thinkers, Subject to Affliction succeeds because of its responsible nature to keeping things mercifully short. This genre is for the serious minded, yet most have the tendency to bore by overblowing their projects past the hour mark. If all releases were kept to the pacing and briefness of Subject to Affliction, the argument could be made in its favor. God help us all should a battle of the bands evolve in this genre; its nihilism would be for the ages.

Contact Information:
Post: Recant: 4070 Brant St Apt 2, San Diego, CA, 92103-1992, USA

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