“After two years in the making both Lee Bartow and Andy Grant deliver one of the most compelling yet dismal releases of modern time, bringing forth a quality and darkness unimaginable, and further more must be experienced to truly grasp such an emotional thought provoking journey into fear, torment and an almost endless anguish…Inspired by a mutual obsession with Lars von Trier’s magnum opus, ANTICHRIST. This is the result…
Pro CD-R housed in full color 4 panel digi pack limited to 100 copies.”
As much as it seems proscriptive to delineate anything into the ‘either you get it or you don’t’ category, the industrial-tinged, blackened soundscapes offered here are unlikely to be popular with those whose rigidly enforced views about the formation of music allow little room for the manoeuvrings of the avant-garde. Yet, despite the ubiquitous darkness of the sleeve with its translucent bodies and chilling literary quotes, the music presented here is possibly the most accessible work the Theologian have ever undertaken, although that is not to say it is an easy ride.
Theologian is Bartow’s post-NTT project and although it sonically covers much of the same terrain, it has a different, less overly dark sensibility to it. “Fighting for [Nothing]” begins deep, resonating low and bursts eventually get paired with a processed, tinny rhythm that nicely moves into harsher noise territory but ends on some more restrained ambient synth patterns.
“All I See is You” begins more in the realm of overdriven harsh electronics before pulling back to let some heavy synth layers move forward, met with some distorted, grimy drum loops that could have been lifted off of an old Skinny Puppy album. “Finding Comfort in Overwhelming Negativity” is less overtly rhythmic, but keeps a structure via a heavily distorted synth pattern that fights off the occasional bit of melody. With the buried, distant vocals, and overall structure, it comes across as somewhat more repetitious, but in an effective, composed manner.
Having not heard the full package where Your Suffering first appeared, hearing it on its own makes me quite glad that it was issued separately, because it simply was too strong of material to not be available. All of the artists who collaborated fitting in nicely with one another, with the new projects occasionally outshining some of the old veterans. At the same time, his new material as Theologian has a different, almost more matured and nuanced sound to it, emphasizing the best part of NTT’s past, making both of these releases extremely satisfying, if somewhat oppressive to listen to in one setting
The Further I Get From Your Star, The Less Light I Feel On My Face is relentless from the very beginning. The howling blast of “Zero” entwines itself into your ears and mind and holds you there in its blackened embrace. While elements of NTT are still present (from industrial noise to completely deconstructed black metal), there’s a more ritualized psychedelic feel to this debut, akin to the esoterica of Coil‘s bleakest moments. There’s an obscure sort of melodicism apparent as well, though it’s the melodicism of the Void: the seesawing electronic hums of “Unfamiliar Skies” soon grow to resemble the looped coos of doves against an unfamiliar and shattered sky, while the vocal wails of “In Times Of Need, We All Go Against Our Natures” feel like a desperate cry from the pit, begging for release that will never, ever come.
Recorded and produced by Theologian Prime at ABANDON ALL HOPE in January and February 2013, this release contains three long pieces of cold and minimalistic industrial/ambient.
Commemorating the return of FACTORIA to New York after years spent exploring the seedy underworld of Miami, Florida, GIVE/TAKE offers an array of anxiety-inducing tape loops, intertwined with painfully honest vocal experiments, highly personal field recordings, and dense drones.
“…Following this is Theologian’s cascading re-envisioning of “Lux Lunae,” now titled “The Sanguine Moon.” This was by far the most dissonant track in its original incarnation, but true to Theologian’s fashion, it’s somehow both mellower here and far more frightening, like the unsettling backing track to a dimly lit horror scene. This might be my top pick on this album, although to discredit the other two remixes would be unwise.”