ARTIST: Monstrum Sepsis
LABEL: WTII Records
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
On his first full-length release since 2005, Monstrum Sepsis mastermind Rob Wentz keeps many of the same sonic aspects in place, but thematically this is a step in a different direction, less abstract and more directly involved with the current geopolitical landscape. Though opening track "Smoke 'em" starts things off with industrial clatter, slow breakbeats, and buzzing synth tension, "Opus Dictum" takes a more overtly educational approach, with samples from a vintage documentary on the oil industry interwoven with snippets from political speeches by George W. Bush. It's an informative approach, but it's also something of a distraction from Wentz's rhythm and synthesizer programming; other tracks like "War of Ideas" and "Under the Carpet" seem less like songs than lectures. On the other hand, "Depleted Ucranium" uses this to better effect; with discussions of horrific birth defects caused by depleted uranium weapon contamination during the Gulf War drastically juxtaposed with a funky downtempo breakbeat, it makes you feel vaguely guilty for nodding your head along with the bass line no matter how subtly infectious it is. And as always, Wentz's purely instrumental offerings are perfect almost to a fault, with hints of melancholy synth strings and sentimental pianos bringing an emotional immediacy to the cold synthesizers and bleak electronics of tracks like "Glimpse" and "Return to Base." You might not be particularly interested in learning about the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict or the cause of Gulf War Syndrome, but if a little global political education is the price to pay for Wentz's gorgeously dark electronic compositions, it's more than worth it.
For more information about Monstrum Sepsis, check out www.monstrumsepsis.com/.
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