CD title: Consumed By Eternal Darkness
Genre: EBM, Industrial
Along with a bit of the usual trepidation that comes along with picking up unknown projects for a review, I also harbored some additional concerns for Consumed By Eternal Darkness. Is this the type of music I’m into? Can I give it a proper review? Is the music straightforward enough to understand even if it’s not something I’m normally spinning? I was pleased to find out that the music from Miko Cellhavoc’s eponymous project Cellhavoc made sense very quickly on a visceral level (a rather thematically appropriate level it would seem).
While the artist behind the music remains a mysterious figure, maintaining only a relatively quiet Facebook presence, I was able to glean a little information about him, finding that Miko had produced a remix of Sequins And Pills for I:Scintilla, featured on their album Marrow 2. So it’s good to see a bit of notoriety bolstering his project, one that could use a bit more attention than the 120 Facebook likes it’s garnered so far (at the time of this writing).
The Bandcamp page wants us to lead off with "Just The Same", and it’s a good decision; it opens with a reliable, if slightly long, intro that drops into a crunchy rhythm. Blast beats follow quickly enough, and great sonic layering and texturing keep the song interesting throughout although it never breaks into earworm territory. "Morphogenetic Field" starts off quickly, and a hard-driving bass line hooks right way. I was disappointed that the song was only 1:56 in length and instrumental, but that should be construed as a compliment to the song’s quality rather than a mark against it; it’s often better to have too little of something than too much.
The title track "Consumed By Eternal Darkness", even with its rather cartoonish and death metal-inspired title, proves it’s no joke by kicking in the harsh EBM rhythms right away. The synths over the harsh rhythms were particularly well-placed and timed, and a bit more variation in the guitar work was a breath of fresh air after the someone monotone "Morphogenetic Field".
"Despised" leads in well and has an excellent breakdown—Cellhavoc displays this competency in several songs, in fact. Talvi displays a great use of rhythm manipulation at 2:00, and a great closing synth pattern as well.
"Rest In Piss"—not a big fan of the title—features splendid female vocals by Stephanie Kay, lifted from her song Don’t Need You at http://www.stephaniekaymusic.com. The vocals are expertly mixed, though their timing is somewhat square peg/round hole; it’s fairly obvious that the vocal cut wasn’t original to this song. I’m curious about Kay’s level of involvement in the use of the sample.
An endemic issue with “Consumed By Eternal Darkness” was finally beginning to make itself clear by now; there’s not a strong sense of melody with the music as a whole, and the entire album was beginning to sound like a very capable soundtrack for a goth/industrial themed movie rather than a complete listening experience. At this point my notes began to trail off, and songs like "Boot Camp" and "Bloodsworn" proved neither offensive nor particularly memorable on their own; by this time I’d just kept my headphones on and grooved to the copious and well-placed synth arpeggios and rhythm patterns. Vocals, unfortunately, often get lost in the mix, which as a whole sounds rather crunchy; I’m not sure whether it’s intentional or whether “Consumed By Eternal Darkness” was a victim of the loudness wars.
For meaningful musical interaction, it falls a little flat, but I don’t feel like Cellhavoc really intended that to begin with. All in all, Consumed By Eternal Darkness is pretty good, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t spin a lot of EBM. It’s often nice to throw on a soundtrack for your life, and not focus so much on deeper meaning behind the music itself. With that in mind, Consumed By Eternal Darkness gets a strong recommendation.
Take a listen: "Rest in Piss"
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