Strangulation – Strangulation
Dying Sun Records
Release Date: 01/09/22
Running Time: 66:00
Review by Dark Juan
Having successfully wrested my psyche back out of the grip of the mental image I shared with you in the last review I wrote (that of the entire Kerrang! senior staff furiously masturbating over Paramore’s Hayley Williams, because her band is all they ever fucking talk about) I have dragged myself back to the happy, sunlit plains of competence, fuelled by gallons of tea and am to be found looking at a picture we have on the wall of Dark Juan Terrace, being some skeletal trees in a winter landscape, and idly wondering whether this picture could be enhanced by having some Martian war machines or some other creatures painted into it. There are any number of tasks I could be completing right now but I have eschewed them for your delectation, dear readers, because after all, Metal is far more important than DIY or a clean house or a network of internet-controlled devices needing to be set up, isn’t it?
Hence, I have chosen the longest of the records I have in my current review queue (queue. Now there’s a word. Is it the u or e that is silent in queue, or is all of it after the letter that starts it?) to write about to further avoid any question of adulting today. This record is by Strangulation, being a Spanish Funeral Drone band who have not come to my twisted and bitter attention before. They are a two piece, being composed of G. (AkoúΦenom), and M. S. (Arkaik Excruciation, Excurse, Suspiral) and this release is a SIXTY-SIX MINUTE single track of several movements. Sixty-six minutes of Drone in a single sitting? How will any of us survive such apocalyptic misery for so long? Rest easy, friends, I am here to experience it for you and willingly take the destruction of my sanity on board for the sake of METAL!
Funeral Drone then. To briefly sum it up, it sounds like Strangulation have listened to a lot of early My Dying Bride, taken the slow bits of ‘Sear Me’ as the basis for their sound, and decided that it needed to be a good thirty percent slower, and shit-mixed with all the lo-fi early Black Metal that the duo could possibly stomach. Fast this is not. It is slower than the operation of my common sense when faced with Beth-Ami Heavenstone in the flesh. It is slower than the operation of my self-control when faced with a bottle of absinthe and a load of religious texts and a Sharpie, or Beth-Ami Heavenstone. It is thicker and more ponderous than pitch dripping from a dropper. It is also quite repetitive; however, this is what Drone is. It is variations upon a single theme and when done well it is fucking hypnotic and takes you to places you never dreamed of. Blend this with some good old fashioned Black Metal and you have a listening experience that is not unlike having your head pressed under ever-increasing weights but the pressure being sustained just at breaking point, enough so you can feel your skull creaking under loads it was never designed to sustain, while cranial fluid leaks from nose and ears and the pressure builds, microjoule by microjoule and some pasty faced torturer roars and screams and gibbers in unknown languages two inches away from your blood-suffused face and your eardrums rupture from the noise…
This record is not an easy listen. It is utterly without compromise. There is no pretense at structure or melody beyond a very basic set up of the movements of the piece, otherwise it is sheer drawn-out terror all the way – harsh dissonance, over-reliance on power, an atavistic approach to percussion at best, demented howling, screaming from the bowels of hell and roaring that should only normally be heard during a nuclear detonation. Sounds fade in and out of existence in the background of the central noise; news reports, cellos, conversation, radios being retuned, children’s music and other elements live and die behind feedback and discordant guitars.
Production-wise, this is a much smarter record than you would think. For all it is a glorious wall of sound from start to finish, it is surprisingly subtle as elements come into and leave the central musical parts and it is all very coherent and clear. If you did a one take horror film, this tune could be the entire soundtrack to it with ease. In fact, I’d fucking love to see this song made into a horror film. It would be absolutely savage. Perhaps they might like to let Dark Juan star in it and gleefully carve up all manner of victims… I have tried to avoid describing the images that Strangulation are putting in my head, but they are of industrial-scale murder, with bodies queueing up to enter meat factories and being clamped into moving lines and taken through a slaughterhouse with a floor littered with skin, blood and bone. A faceless entity moves along the line, impassively firing a captive bolt pistol into the foreheads of struggling people encased in steel, impervious to entreaties for escape and forgiveness and people not wanting to die, and leaving holes in the foreheads of the human cattle spasming in their death throes behind him, limbs spastically jerking and their eyes turned up in their heads, the soundtrack of their last moments being screams of horror and the thud of the pistol every few seconds until it reaches their struggling body and they stare into the eyeless nothing that is the Slaughterman’s face. The pistol is raised and all hope is extinguished when the victim watches the trigger get pulled and the bolt punches through their skull in a stunning, brief moment of exquisite agony before the blackness takes them…
I really need to listen to something more cheerful after this. Even I can only take so much morbidity before I turn to drink and I am trying very hard to not drink all the time these days as I am getting a little portly from it.
Savagery, horror and dystopian, world ending sorrow in musical form. Dark Juan does not recommend this as music to fuck to. You’ll still be at it in five days if you haven’t committed suicide first. It’s bloody good though. Thing is, not many people like this sort of thing so the audience for this record is going to be punishingly small and therefore sales will not be large. Also, a large proportion of Metal fans aren’t going to get this music and won’t have the attention span to tolerate it, and it’s going to be far too heavy and niche for a lot of new entrants to the world of Metal, so I’m unsure as to whom this record is pitched. Never mind.
The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System awards Strangulation 8/10 for an expressive form of depression in a manner never before experienced by Dark Juan. Marks were deducted for it being possibly too esoteric and for making Dark Juan have those thoughts again. You know the ones… A harrowing experience.
I have tried and tried to find out more information on the people behind this band with absolutely no joy so I gave up.
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.