Good morning class. Today we have a case study for you, a study in paradox. The paradox in question is how musicians who have clearly taken leave of their senses are able to create sonic sensations that are utterly maniacal, and yet make their stupendously berserk convulsions somehow sound… catchy? Yes, catchy! (Although it’s possible we’ve taken leave of our senses as a result of listening to this.)
The subject of the case study is a track named “Demonic Truculence” (bonus points for using “truculence” in a song title, and for making music that merits the word, especially when modified by the adjective “demonic”). The two evident maniacs who made it (Jonatan Johansson and Mikko Josefsson) go by the name Concrete Winds. The album that includes the track goes by the accurately descriptive name Nerve Butcherer.
When Invisible Oranges premiered the first single from Nerve Butcherer, it was accompanied by an interview of the band, which included this truculent response to a question:
“The material is made to be a maelstrom of annihilation…. We are never actively concerned about making songs either stand out or stick in the head, mainly the objective is one of ear canal destruction, discomfort and to aggravate the listener. If this is the result however of course it is welcome. Even more if it leaves the consumer with a bitter aftertaste and claustrophobic disgust.”
Well, we can say “Mission Accomplished!” But on the other hand, though the band might not admit it, despite the fact that the music might inspire confusion and disgust, and that the band seem to view their listeners as prey rather than potential fans, there is improbably something highly contagious about what they’re doing. (The execution is technically damned impressive too.)
“Demonic Truculence“, for example, is essentially a two-minute spasm. It moves like a bat out of hell and is packed with gruesome grinding chords, battering drumwork, freakishly skittering leads, and teeth-bared howls that spit the words as fast as everything else is moving. The drum patterns morph at high speed, and the guitars blurt, quiver, scream, and eject blurred abrasive blasts as if the performer was being immolated and had to get the whole thing out in two minutes in order to earn a fire extinguisher.
But, as foretold, this is a case study in paradox: Although the drumming is off the chain, there’s just enough groove in the song to keep it from spiraling completely out of control, and those bizarre riffs (if you can call them riffs) do get stuck in the head. Well, at least our heads.
Now class, it’s time for the test, and the test is one that runs your sanity through a gauntlet. Please proceed:
Nerve Butcherer will be released by Sepulchral Voice Records on November 26th, on CD, LP vinyl, and digital formats. It was recorded and mixed by Stefan Brändström at the Dustward Studio and mastered by Phil Kusabs. Having done the work, both of them can now be contacted in an asylum for the criminally insane.
Below you’ll also find a stream of that song which Invisible Oranges premiered — “Noise Trepanation“. The basics of our instructions regarding “Demonic Truculence” are on display again, along with some delicious soloing straight out of the place that Hell reserves for lunatics prone to grand mal seizures.