With somewhat unique instrumental arrangements revolving around two bass guitars, Methadrone's 7-song Retrogression CD finds members Craig Pillard and Randi Stokes tearing through 35 minutes of instrumental, dark, droning processed guitar/bass noise supplemented by subtle synth work and programmed drums. Blending the chaotic and melodic, the duo's sound is an apocalyptic cacophony of swirling, distorted noise anchored by simplistic, pounding rhythmic structures and repetitive brooding melodies for something that's very akin to Bleak's Vane album. The duo's sound could also be likened to…say…something found at the intersection of Lovesliescrushing, Mephisto Walz, and The Cure's Pornography.
The short opener "Emotionless" is a fairly abstract, percussion-less piece, serving as an intro to the 8-minute "Retrogression", a powerful, thickly layered song driven by a washed out bass foundation and anchored by under-mixed industrial drums. The plodding pounding drums and swirling blackness of "Despondency" find the disc at its most devastatingly heavy and bleak, while "Ebullient Drift" makes excellent use of tremolo, contrasting a sinister, pulsating foundation with brighter screeching guitar melodies to prove one of the album's most dynamic songs. "Impurify" blends a choppy, almost military rhythm and industrial loops for another unique and exceptional offering, its mood lightened by the following "Transient Release", an effectively brighter affair. The disc's suitable closer", "Of Less Emotion", expands its opener into a less claustrophobic 5-minute ambient guitar noise piece.
As a whole, Retrogression, is particularly difficult to classify despite its remarkable sonic consistency. One thing that is clear, however, is that Methadrone's work here is stark, inspired, and impressive. Those that like their experimental industrial noise thick, heavy, and black as night should give Retrogression a listen.
Methadrone website: www.methadrone.com
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