2003, Martyr Music/Displeased
Eh, I promised myself some time ago that I wouldn't review anything on this label [meaning Martyr, not Displeased] because of the bitch who ran/was "running" things over there and who told me, on two separate instances that I can remember, that Erebus wasn't "worthy of promos". I didn't really know how to answer a statement like that. What do you say in return? "Yes we are!" Something equally enlightening? I can't argue for the pertinence or relevance of this website. In her eyes Erebus wasn't worthy of notice because, I am guessing, it is on the web and thus is completely irrelevant. We all know that the internet is just a trend. Paper is the future. Only print is real. Etc, etc. I noticed that she sent promos to review sites/other magazines that were just random collections of fluff and rockstar dreams, mall papers, high school yearbooks, the vanity projects of groupie amateur "photographers", so it hit me: ah, they're afraid we'll slam their shitty music fifty-five ways before it hits the ground running away from the CD tray. However, since we're completely irrelevant and no one reads us, you think it wouldn't even matter...who's going to see the review?
Are there any bands on this label worth listening to other than CODC?
Leng Tch'e? Oh wait...
I don't care about label politics and the power games of scenesters. I sarcastically warned a member of this band before they signed to Martyr of the nature of that label, and although he told me [this was on a message board, and I was wearing a disguise: a genuine life-size replica of Freud's death mask] that they had "heard rumors", they were still "confident" that things would be all right [translation: they desperately needed a label after being screwed over by Necropolis], etc. Whatever. This band, the last I heard, is now in a fractured state. Someone left. Someone else started drinking heavily. Someone else stopped drinking. And yet they still put out an album like this, with all of that incipient-breakup tension that supposedly makes for great sex, but not always great music. Then again, this is not "music", is it? It's fucking grindcore. Get over it.
Actually, I'm lying. None of that happened. And this album crushes.
Circle of Dead Children. Think about that name. Think about the ways they have tried to explain the name, to all the people who say "ah, yes, a grind/gore/deathcore band, sewer vocals, random blasts, shout-outs to Lividity at the Metalfest, strange art-rock acid trip moog wanderings masquerading as interludes, references to Faust and Amon Duul thrown out into the brainpans of an audience that doesn't notice or care". The Parisian gorecore/Fulci fanatic in black sans ponytail [ponytails are so pre-9/11] nods his head, thinks about how it used to be cool to drink espresso, then it was not cool, and then it was ironic. He sighs, along with the band who are reading this review right now and thinking "we are so tired of explaining our name!" Take another weary drink, find another bedroom label. Circle of Dead Children means: death, exploitation, capitalism, nationalism, patriotism, every other -ism, every other political plank which makes up the platform that grindcore bands perform on. Circle of Dead Children means: death. Rebellion. Anti-everything. Against you. Got it?
I like the Pig who does the vocals on this release, he has a great range. Porcine übersqueals flailing about in a bed-wetting fever sink into the low slow groans of tomorrow's bacon being dragged through a newspaper press. The microphone is wrapped in plastic and swirled about in a bucket of beer vomit and cigarette butts. You can hear the sloshing...or that might be a lung collapsing. In the distance, far off into the black horizon, roars Middle Eastern anti-aircraft fireblasts and someone banging on a metal picnic table with a Louisville Slugger. Somewhere someone else is typing up a term paper. The guitar sound is an oak barrel full of stale cornflakes and stolen bricks rolling down a rocky hill. Occasionally it bottoms out in a bass drop and the inner ear floor quivers and shakes, even though, as I understand it, there isn't a bass on this album. The Pig leans over and drags a rusty Boy Scout knife through his esophagus, shoves a microphone inside. It works.
19 songs. Grindcore. Attempts at being avant-garde and original. Occasional successes in said attempts. 19 songs.
Worth owning. Worth buying? Maybe.