I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Andrew Grant and The Vomit Arsonist. Furthermore, I have no idea what he thinks of me or my reviews. Though I believe I’ve covered at least three or four of these records now and here’s another on my desk. By now, it is obvious that Grant is experiencing some level of depression towards humanity and that’s never been more apparent than this one. The industrial sense that we’d expect continues on this one with “Meditations” actually sounding like a grim meditation in itself, which culminates into a slight moment of industrial rattling and what almost feels like a spoken word suicide note in foreground. “What’s Left” continues that nature, almost feeling a bit like Coil in it’s steely trance. Though it’s improper to say this is trance – there’s something a bit more dismal, less euphoric going on here. Harsh vocals come out from the static again, even though I feel like it would have been better that they’d been left out altogether. It cheapens the bleakness of the album, adding unnecessary angst to what feels like a depressive state in itself. “It Never Ends” continues the steel-factory nature, though adds slight moments of harsh static fuzz vocal in areas. Though for this one, it would just kind of sound like a factory if he hadn’t utilized vocals. “On Living” starts out nearly silent, though features harsh vocal pieces as part of the atmosphere, rather than right out in the open. It’s different for the artist. “When The Last Flame Has Been Extinguished” is fairly light, aside from a few static sparks.
It’s almost non-existent as well. This is definitely a much different record, a stripped down approach that I never would have expected. The same can be said with “There Is Nothing Here” which fits the piece, as it does just feel like a bleak factory of sorts. We hear the whirring of the motors and little else. Again, this is meant to be something of an industrial meditation album, so that fits. Too much noise would kill the feel there. “Sick Of Trying” closes out the performance on an expectable note, where we are once again exposed to the sounds of bleak, dismal and rather melancholy factory.
Don’t get me wrong, as I do understand what The Vomit Arsonist was trying to do here. There was too much noise in the beginning, but I feel that the record might work as a negative meditation album (as odd as that sounds, this isn’t the first time I’ve come across albums that sound that way) and instead help the listener to experience anxiety and depression over all of the horrible things in this world. It seems like The Vomit Arsonist might be a source of therapy for Andrew Grant, and that I would feel is a good thing. Maybe others can use this kind of music as therapy for their own problems and there’s the appeal for such a forlorn atmosphere as this. Meditations On Giving Up Completely sounds like a factory that is about to shutdown and give up completely, but that might just be what someone else needs to get their own factory going again. People need a chance to break down so that the brain can heal itself, but society doesn’t demand it, so they often bottle everything up into what later results in mental issues across the board. This is because stress is trauma on the brain. It was described to me in the same way as cutting into your arm with a sharp blade. If you go back and imagine that stress and trauma as the knife cutting into your arm, just imagine what it is doing to your brain. Of course, these kinds of brain injuries will result in a variety of mental health issues. I am not sure how people dealt with it back then, but I can say that the horde of mental issues we’re all experiencing in some respect these days are all a part of brain damage caused by the rigors of life in general. I think the takeaway from this album is that “we’re all fucked” yet I often find escape within artistic mediums, like this album for instance.
(7 Tracks, 42:00)