Posts Tagged ‘viido stream’

Ipecac Recordings – 3rd April 2020

Christopher Nosnibor

Tētēma’s second album, Necroscape, takes as its theme ‘isolation in the surveillance age; and although lofty/high-concept sounding, this is still an intensely fun and heavy listen’. As we enter a strange (I’m already sick of ‘unprecedented’) time that gets stranger by the day, isolation is coming to take a new level of meaning and a heightened reality for many around the globe. As if the constant surveillance wasn’t enough to make many of us jittery and paranoid, the world in which we now find ourselves is one in which paranoia has been replaced by all-out panic, jitterniess by full-on bog-roll buying shitting. However caught up in the hysteria one is, the incontrovertible fact is that things are weird right now. And because tētēma is a project involving Mike Patton, this is a weird album.

Pairing again with Anthony Pateras to deliver a ‘modernist electro-acoustic rock proposition’, the one thing Necroscape is not is predictable. It’s also far from po-faced, instead leading the listener on a wild ride that’s intense, and bewildering but not bleak.

The haunting, sepulchral title track, with monastic vocal utterances and delicate piano does nothing to prepare the listener for the blistering racket that follows on ‘Cutlass Eye’. Swinging between snarling black metal and wild orchestrals, it’s a rollercoaster to say the least. ‘Soliloquy’, released recently as a single, ain’t Shakespeare, but is a random blast that sounds like a 33 being played at 45 with sinister vocals that veer from a whisper to a snake-like strangulated snarl. There are passages of murky experimentalism and discord that slide in and out of swampy jazz, and there are classic Patton moments that slip out amidst the collage of chaos, with hints of Faith No More’s inimitable melodies an Mr Bungle’s nuttiness balanced by Anthony Pateras slightly more balanced, rational compositional style.

As a collaboration, it brings together two quite different styles and melds them seamlessly.

AA

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