Aesthetic Meat Front's live performances are legendary, gory affairs featuring such spectacles as project mastermind Louis Fleischauer suspending himself from the ceiling with hooks through his flesh. The CDs seem at least partially designed to hold over fans in between these rare performance events (it's hard to find venues willing to host such subversive and messy spectacles). That said, however, this disc is Fleischauer's best, an industrial ambient opus constructed from audio recorded at an embalming session and then manipulated in the studio. While it's still fuzzy and suitably messy, it seems to have higher production values than earlier A.M.F. recordings, and the occasional elements of found sound -- an eerie whistle here, a bit of conversation there -- highlight the drones and reverb of tracks like "Post Mortem Sludge" or the magnificently unsettling "Restricted Cervical Injection." Exquisite creepiness is to be expected with a concept album based around the embalming process, and the ghostly moaning of "Sectional Injection (Is Necessary)" certainly delivers on that, while the echoing metal and metallic drones of "Hydroaspirator" recall the classic industrial ambient of Cold Meat Industry artists like In Slaughter Natives. Because Fleischauer has explored different territory here and created an atmosphere of claustrophobic meditation rather than trying to recreate the energy of a live ritual event, this album reveals itself as his most coherent recorded work. It's not the same as being there, of course, but it's a great experimental album, and you don't have to soak your clothes in bleach afterwards.
Enter the morgue at www.a-m-f.org.
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