Saturday, December 13, 2008

Review: Weeping Birth - Anosognosic Industry of the I (2008)

Weeping Birth [ Website | MySpace ]
Anosognosic Industry of the I

Vladimir Cochet - the Swiss mastermind behind the one-man Black Metal projects Unholy Matrimony and Mirrorthrone - has resurrected Weeping Birth, the first foray into the haunted recesses of his creativity. It's been five years since the debut Weeping Birth album A Painting of Raven and Rape was unleashed, but the sheer intensity of Anosognosic Industry of the I proves that Cochet's sinister mind remains in top form.

Anosognosic Industry of the I is first and foremost an insanely brutal album from start to finish. With a running time of over 70 minutes, it's easy to turn away from such prolonged and relentless ferocity. For fans of depraved Black Metal, doing so would be a mistake. As furious and violent as the majority of these tracks are, Cochet doesn't rely solely on hypersonic tremolo riffs and inhuman blastbeats to color his canvas. Scattered throughout the album are oases of sanity to contrast the nightmarish onslaught, such as the crushingly catchy riffs that make a brief appearance on "I Was" and the attention-grabbing solo on "Detestable Birth Tapestries With Snakes Embroidered".

Cochet's twisted vocals are just as hellish as his music, with the majority of the lyrics being spewed forth in a raspy style seething with hatred and contempt. Death Metal gurgles and grunts are also to be heard in abundance, but as with the instrumentation Cochet tosses in a few surprises to keep the album interesting. The mid-point of the aggressive "Der Tanz Der Toten", for example, gives way to a sudden tempo shift that paves the way for a clean spoken-word delivery of the French lyrics - along with a bit of demonic mumbling - which works perfectly with the eerie keys and old-school Thrash riffs. "Mutisme" is an epic, bombastic horrorscape with the lyrics spoken in an intensely hateful manner, while "Shadowless" finds Cochet singing in a clean, almost Viking Metal style. While all of these various, seemingly unrelated elements may sound as if they leave Anosognosic Industry of the I an indigestible noisefest, I found the contrary to be true. Without Cochet's experimentation and obvious extreme attention to detail, this album would be an unlistenable 13-track barrage worthy of perhaps one listen but no more - at least not without some painkillers.

Anosognosic Industry of the I is an intriguing album, even for metal fans who aren't often interested in such brutal aspects of the genre. Although I am not usually one to partake in this style of metal, I found few flaws with the album. The first three tracks blend together so much that you really have to listen in order to pick up the transition from one song to the next. The same can be said for the following three tracks, though it's at this point of the album where Cochet begins to introduce some variety to award those listeners who've managed to survive the first stage of the disc. Programmed drums are also a pet peeve of mine, but Cochet has done an excellent mixing job so that they aren't overpowering or annoyingly distinct. He's also devoted a lot of effort to putting together some pleasingly interesting fills and patterns that keep the percussion elements from becoming one-dimensional.

Fans who adore insanely intense Black Metal will be more than satisfied with Weeping Birth's Anosognosic Industry of the I. If you can't stand this style of music, you won't be able to stomach this album. But if you approach it with an open mind and give it a chance, you just might be surprised.

Track Listing
1 Then The Moon Came 4:10
2 Hurle à La Mort 4:17
3 Totalitarian Grievance 5:01
4 I Was 4:01
5 Detestable Birth Tapestries With Snakes Embroidered 4:52
6 Der Tanz Der Toten 9:10
7 Vaginal Secretions 5:15
8 Orgasmic Fetid Breath 5:03
9 Love, Death's Betrothed 7:14
10 Immobile 6:45
11 Mutisme 3:02
12 Shadowless 7:27
13 Le Mauvais Oeil 7:15
Total Runtime 1:13:32

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