Posts Tagged ‘Scott Kelly’

Neurot – 28th September 2018

Christopher Nosnibor

As you’d perhaps expect from an industrial collaboration between Neurosis’ Scott Kelly and Sanford Parker (Buried at Sea), Mirrors for Psychic Warfare’s second album is heavy on the atmospherics. It’s also simply heavy. The songs themselves are considerably more concise than on the eponymous debut – there are no sprawling ten-minuters here, but they pack an oppressive density. I’ve probably arrived at I See What I Became in the wrong frame of mind: it’s one of those days where the spirits are low and you now that listening to Joy Division or Faith by The Cure would be a bad idea.

I See What I Became isn’t a mopey album. It’s just bleak.

It’s a slow build to start: ‘Animal Coffins’ shifts incrementally from rumbling dark ambience through a slow pulsing beat to a swirling, rhythmic throb of noise with exotic, mystical voices. With processed beats that click and thud, ‘Tomb Puncher’ is a crawling dirge dragged from the techno end of industrial, and is highly reminiscent of PIG, while elsewhere there’s the heavy wheeze of JG Thirlwell at his more experimental. The mechanised rhythms are cold, clinical, but also distorted and decaying at the edges, adding a layer of dirt to a sound that’s encrusted in filth and dried viscera. A sense of the grand and the epic inform the delivery and the production.

There’s an eastern flavour to ‘Rats in the Alley’ with its snaking motifs and frenetic percussion, but it’s partly submerged in a swathe of extraneous noise. There’s a lot of extraneous noise on I See What I Became: the instrumentation melts together so as to render the individual sources indistinguishable. Everything congeals into a heavy-grained sonic wall. On ‘Crooked Teeth’, things crank up slowly, picking up pace, volume and claustrophobic intensity before collapsing into a synapse-flickering cacophony of discord.

What does this articulate, emotionally, psychologically? Far from the clarity of enlightenment the title may suggests, I See What I Became conveys a wallowing in darkness and a sense of resignation, hollowed out, nihilistic. It’s a heavy grind that wears you down, and by the end, I feel drained. I see nothing, and I feel numb.



I See What I Became is the new full-length from Mirrors For Psychic Warfare, the industrial collaboration between Neurosis’ Scott Kelly and Buried At Sea’s Sanford Parker, incoming on Neurot Recordings this September.

Produced by Seward Fairbury (Corrections House) and Negative Soldier, mastered by Collin Jordan (Eyehategod, Indian, Wovenhand, Voivod etc.) with decibel manipulation by Dave French (Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth, The Anunnaki), the duo’s follow-up to 2016’s critically-lauded, self-titled debut boasts eight tracks of unsettling and unapologetic audio demolition.

In advance of its release, the duo have shared an official video for the album track ‘Crooked Teeth’ created by Chariot Of Black Moth, which you can watch here:



Neurot Records – 22nd April 2016

Christopher Nosnibor

The blurbage: Scott Kelly (Neurosis) and producer/engineer/sonic warlord Sanford Parker (Buried At Sea) are restless. This inquietude has culminated in another collaboration. The two work together in Corrections House, a project that also features the talents of Mike IX Williams of Eyehategod, and Bruce Lamont of Yakuza. While Corrections House seem hell-bent on impersonal bludgeon and unfettered terror, the pair’s latest project, Mirrors For Psychic Warfare by comparison – is far more restrained.

The critique: Restraint is relative, and there’s definitely some noise to be found here, and no shortage of passion. Sonically, however, the maelstrom definitely simmers, with cold-as-ice production tempering the mood. Everything is channelled, focused and chiselled down, distilled into a dense and seemingly impervious sonic slab.

The album’s first track, ‘Oracles Hex’, previously released as a 7” single is representsaative of the sparse yet heavy feel of the work as a complete piece. Against a sparse and disjointed, broken-down folk backdrop drenched in reverb, Kelly’s vocal delivery is reminiscent of Michael Gira. After a slow build, guitars and all kinds of hell break out to forge a murky sonic curtain. It’s a work of slow-building density that requires a degree of patience, but is big on reward.

The 14-minute ‘A Thorn to See’ follows, and marks the album’s pivotal point, a slowly-ascending sonic apex. Built on brooding drones and stark percussion over which monotone vocals intone visions of desolate landscapes, it exists within the same realm of deconstructed rock music as the last two albums by Disappears, before being ultimately devoured in a rising tide of buzzing guitars which all but bury the thunderous percussion.

‘CNN WTZ’ is pure doom, a nine-minute percussion free dirge delivered at a crawl. With crushing powerchords bursting over a rolling piano motif, the final track, the nine-and-a-half-minute ‘43’ is the soundtrack to the apocalypse.

Mirrors for Psychic Warfare is a difficult album, and makes no apologies for the fact. It’s stark, bleak and atmospheric, and offers not a second of solace to the listener. It’s cold music for a cold world. The future offers nothing but a barren wasteland. Mirrors For Psychic Warfare is a musical representation of the soul-crushing emptiness of the now, and of the times to come.

Mirrors of Psychic Warfare