Plasmodium – Entheognosis

God, where the fuck do I even begin with this thing? Yeah, a thing, I wouldn’t really call this an album. This is more like 60 minutes of a complete deconstruction and reconstruction of extreme metal into pure textural form. This is 60 minutes of me loving the absolute fuck out of guitar feedback wank for the first time in my life. This is just 60 minutes of pure fuck. That’s it, it’s just fuck, I can’t really think of how else to describe it. This psychedelic, noisy, bewildering, oppressive, evil, crushing, zooming, absolutely mind boggling 60 minute fuck-a-thon 3000. This thing, Plasmodium’s Entheognosis, is something I can safely say I have never heard the likes of in my entire reviewing career.

Sure, I’ve heard noise mixed with black metal before. Not much of it, but it’s there. When people think of noise and black metal, they instantly run to Gnaw Their Tongues. They think of edgy, disgusting, ear numbing and raw black metal that sounds like it came straight for the scariest horror film one could think of. Fuck I would say it SOUNDS like a horror film itself. If that’s what you’re expecting here, throw that out the window. This is something much worse than that. Not worse in that it’s got more edgy cover art, or that it’s louder, or that it has more spooky industrial black ambient parts to it. It’s scarier in a different way. There’s something much more terrifying about music that is horrifying without trying to be horrifying. That the band in question isn’t trying to make their music as scary as possible, it’s just that terrifying in it’s natural state. That’s what we have here.

The most complete way in which I could possibly describe Entheognosis is a 60 minute, 4 track album consisting of psychedelic, noisy avant-garde black metal, that often obscures riffs all together for the sake of just shrieking textures on the guitar. That absolutely does not do this music justice, but it’ll have to do for now. It sounds as if Plasmodium took the aspect of raw aggression in extreme metal and broke that down, than reanimated it without paying head to any sort of musical conceptions of what extreme metal is supposed to sound like. So like post-metal, except actually creative. This is post-extreme metal in the most extreme way possible. Sure you’ll hear vague influences from black, death, and doom metal (black metal like vocals, death/thrash drumming, slow, doomy bass guitars), but if you’re focusing on that, you’re missing the point of the music. Instead you get these, fuck not even journeys, just explorations in texture and what it means to have aggression and evil in music. If that sounds massively pretentious, trust me, it isn’t. I would put this on full blast if it was. The album sounds so genuine, which is all the more impressive considering how grand and far out the concept is.

This is an extremely difficult review because I genuinely have no background to go by. I simply haven’t heard anything remotely close to this before, and I’m 99.999% sure whoever is reading this hasn’t either. If this band had a wider audience, this could be a revolutionary work. But you could say that about a lot of bandcamp bands. Albums like this are the best part of being a reviewer. It’s finding spectacular records that nobody else gave a chance. It’s finding that one speck of gold in the entire Colorado River. This has been a shit year for black metal, with none of the popular records blowing me away, and the obscure finds not doing much for me either. I can definitely say that this record is my black metal AOTY so far, which is a major relief to someone who loves the genre so much. Though calling this black metal is like calling a Schoenberg prelude a song. You’re technically right, but completely fucking missing the point. For as weary as the concept of this album can get (the length is a bit much and the ideas don’t always support it anyway), I kept having the thought that maybe the point of this record wasn’t to have structured variety. Maybe this isn’t a record that’s meant to be analyzed like any other album. Maybe I shouldn’t be trying to find faults in every bit that’s made. Perhaps this is simply something that’s meant to be experienced. Something in which you just get lost in the textures and ideas, not trying to figure out if they’ve been repeated. Nah who am I kidding, that would take letting go of what I already know. And even though some blessed bands are able to do that, I’m going to sit here staring in awe, still trying to find a reason to subtract points on an imaginary scoring system like the complete simpleton I am.


9.5/10

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