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Avant Garde

Mirrors for Psychic Warfare – s/t Album Review + Preview

Corrections House saw Sanford Parker (Buried At Sea,) Scott Kelly (Neurosis,) Bruce Lamont (Yakuza) and Mike IX Williams (EyeHateGod) getting together, merging their sonic tendencies and releasing, so far, two great albums of experimental industrial/doom/sludge. Now, we have reached the point where Corrections House cannot address all of the members’ creative leanings, and another entity is necessary to spawn. And that is the newest collaboration of Kelly and Parker, Mirrors for Psychic Warfare.

Even though there are similarities between Corrections House and Mirrors…, the latter takes a far more obscure and dark approach than the former. Through their debut album, their sonic experimentation moves towards an eerie, electronic-based experience. That point might have been addressed partly in the works of Corrections House, especially their debut, but Mirrors… move more bravely into that territory, stripping away the weight and the brutal outbreaks found in their other band. In a sense, Mirrors… dwells into dark ambient and power electronics, resulting in a death industrial setting, reminiscent of the Cold Meat Industry roster, in the likes of Deutsch Nepal and In Slaughter Natives.

Label: Neurot Recordings

Mirrors for Psychic Warfare

The distinct ambiance that Mirrors… craft is enough to make your skin crawl. Filled with slithering passages, it continuously unfolds through the dark corridors of this work, as is the case with the start of “Oracles Hex.” The setting of “I’ll Try You All” summarizes perfectly that mentality of the group, oozing with a dystopian element, filled with sonic disorientation as crystal-like sounds emerge through an ocean of dissonance, resulting in complete numbness. The guitars still have a place in the band’s vision, but they do not possess the same ferocity as in Corrections House. Through the album they are used as investigatory means, covering great space with accuracy and disorienting the listener with their different morphings. Repetitive Neurosis-like melodies appear in the opening track, while a heavier gaze comes through with “CNN WTZ,” and a feral approach with the ending of “A Torn To See” – just some of the routes that Kelly undertakes in this album.

On the other hand, Parker focuses on the synths, managing to create an electrifying setting for the background of the album, and establish its spine with the percussion. The mutations that the synths undergo is astounding, giving a diverse tone through the different moments of the album. Straightforward and mechanical in “A Thorn To See” or with a more industrial touch in parts of “Oracles Hex,” the synth percussion finds ways to enhance the dark scenery, coming straight through the synths and Parker’s effects. Granular sounds create sonic illusions in the opening track, and distortion accompanies the heavy guitars in “A Thorn To See” and the start of “CNN WTZ,”  while the full extent of the band’s ability is revealed in “43.” The bleakness that Parker and Kelly are able to conjure in this track is astonishing, with the old-school synths coming as dark waves, closer and closer, as melodic lines only make the scenery appear dimmer. Noise and vocals reach a state of confusion, digging deeper into the dissonance of this record to complete the experience.

Mirrors For Psychic Warfare is a ritualistic opus, set in a post-apocalyptic scenery. Through the five compositions of this album, Kelly and Parker dig deeper into the dark experimental world, traveling to territories of liturgical tribalism and abstract, alien ceremonies. It is a dark ride across a bleak planet, but it is still filled with wonder.

Written By

Sound engineer, sonic manipulator, record hunter and writer/contributor for a variety of webzines.

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