There you did offer them to the Prince of Devils
sitting upon his throne, and did draw off their fat to be kept
for your use, and cut off their heads, hands, and feet, and did
cook and stew their trunks, and sometimes roast them, and at
the bidding of your aforesaid evil Father did eat and
damnably devour them.
Those words were among the extravagant condemnations of witches included in a death sentence announced by the judges of Avignon in 1582. If you scroll down the Facebook page of RXAXPXE, you will see those same words, preceded by the pronouncement: “We are doing the Devil’s work.” And when you listen to the sounds created by RXAXPXE (a name more easily pronounced when you mentally remove the Xs), you will have little doubt of that.
The latest of RXAXPXE’s creations is an album named Death Trance, which will be released on May 31st by Dunkelheit Produktionen. It is a three-track, 30-minute audio rite that draws upon a mind-mauling mix of Terror Noise and Power Electronics. The first of those tracks has been previously revealed, and today we’re streaming the third, leaving one in the middle undisclosed.
It is not difficult to understand where the album title came from when you hear the album’s first track, “Dancing In Ashes Part II (Eradication)“, which seems by its name to be connected to a track named “Dancing In Ashes” from RXAXPXE’s 2015 album Flesh Commandments. Part ritual, part orgy, part descent into terrifying madness, it indeed does seem designed to induce a death trance. A pulsing, pounding, primitive low frequency rhythm cycles all the way through this long track, quickly enmeshed in the abrasion of crackling and shrieking electronic noise (sometimes with a shrill and clattering pulse of its own). It sounds as if someone is twisting a demonic dial, trying to tune in the frequency of Hell, and making intermittent and then permanent contact. The disturbing nightmare dimensions of the track also include a changing cacophony of grotesquely distorted voices — agonized yells, tortured screams, and creepy proclamations (some crazed and some solemn).
“Golden Hysteria (Beheading)” comes next, and that remains a mystery for now, and then the album ends with the track we’re premiering — the shortest of the three. “Holy Fire (Strangulation)” is a twisted collage of arhythmic tonalities — sounds that are deep and droning, weird and warbling, and skittering like an insectile representation of dementia. This collage also includes sounds that bring to mind the fracturing of granite in an earthquake or the inhuman agony of junked cars being mangled by a compacting machine. There may be voices in this tension-torquing tumult, too, or something might have materialized behind you while you were listening.
Dunkelheit Produktionen will release Death Trance digitally and in a CD Jewelcase edition on May 31st, and on black and red vinyl on June 28th. Further details and pre-order opportunities can be found via the links below.
1. Dancing In Ashes Part II (Eradication) 14:28
2. Golden Hysteria (Beheading) 09:20
3. Holy Fire (Strangulation) 05:38