Grim Observations: Abjection Ritual – Futility Rites (2015)

If you’re a fan of Steel Hook Prosthesis, In Slaughter Native or The Vomit Arsonist (although I like this approach a lot more) you’ll definitely find something in this one man project from Pennsylvania. Headed by Douglas Corey, this breed of death industrial follows much the same path as that of The Vomit Arsonist except for the fact that Corey isn’t exactly screaming over the samples here. Instead, he’s taking a more muted approach that mixes in with static and makes him sound like he’s trapped inside of my laptop. Which he might be and I should probably get him out of here. Yet it would seem from the imagery here, Mr. Corey is not a fan of Jesus Christ or Caesar Borgia as the description on the cover depicts (please read up about him and how all of the art and religious depictions we have of Iesus are actually depictions of a war criminal. By the way, that “I” is not a spelling error as the letter “J” did not exist in the Hebrew language. Furthermore, the very name “Jesus” is a Greek mistranslation of what in Hebrew is Yeshua, or Joshua.) and it also seems that he’s not a fan of religion in general. Though I can never tell what any of these death industrialists are hollering about, I can certainly sense the fury laden within this disc, as well as the scraping of steel and the thousands of soundclips which seem to overlap on tracks like “Objects Of Wrath” (5:26). Of course, the opening quote of that piece strikes me as a bit funny, since the sample states that “God is storing up his wrath for you.” My rebuttal to that is simply, “Why would an omnipotent God need to store up anything?” Such a being would no longer be all powerful if it has to wait to store something up. Said being should be able to simply snap it’s fingers and wipe out the whole of existence. That’s the very meaning of all powerful. So if there is a wholly divine being out there in the world, than it is truly not omnipotent and we’ve been lied to. Hence, it makes me think of politics, where a man might say that he can do a bevy of things to help the people, but suddenly needs more time when he’s rushed into office by the people he’d claimed to help.

Nevertheless, such an album does deliver on it’s uncomfortable atmospheres, much like we’d expect from the horrible lab experiments being produced by that of Steel Hook Prosthesis, and in songs like “Cum Immersion” (6:05) I’m actually feeling the kind of fear that I wanted to with that Climax Denial album I reviewed earlier. Futility Rites actually does lead into some rather frightening atmospheres when left to it’s own faculties, especially when Corey is not using his voice to illustrate these pieces. As much as that is common in certain manners of death industrial, sometimes I feel that the genre would be better without vocals entirely. For instance, “Trust In Thy Sickle and Reap” (6:20) makes for a unnervingly creepy landscape, which only seems to be hindered by the use of vocals. Though Corey is subtle in these vocal iterations, they don’t feel entirely necessary as a whole here. “Entropic Embrace” (6:54) is really the only track which I feel sounds a bit out of character, it feels alien in some ways and that’s not entirely a bad thing. It doesn’t feel like it inhabits fear, but there is definitely a sort of Penumbra type “stuck in the ice covered mines” feel to the piece.

In the end, Futility Rites is definitely what I was looking for in terms of tone and it matches the amount of horror and fright I expected with such a listen. It’s artwork was not clearly as striking as that of Climax Denial’s, but it manages to deliver the kind of atmosphere that I was expecting from such a frightening cover. Dealing with as much death and black metal as I do here, I’ve seen more pictures of Caesar Borgia than were actually painted during the Renaissance era; so the artwork does nothing for me. It’s just another beaten up picture of “Jesus.” But once we press play, the soundscapes that unfold are definitely convincing enough to get your attention and I’d highly recommend this over some of the others I’ve heard this year in the same category. Douglas Corey proves that he’s worth his salt on this recording and he’ll no doubt be a top frontrunner in the death industrial scene.

(8 Tracks, 48:00)

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