Like a Giant Throwing a Steamroller At Your Head
I used to think about giants all the time when I was a kid. Everything big looked like it played some role in the world of the giants who stalked the land by night. I liked to wonder whether the trees & hills & mountains weren't in fact the bodies of giants who came to life while the world slept. Much later, I played a demo of a video game called Shadow of the Colossus whose idea was quite similar, and I was pretty stoked for the concept, but the giants in Shadow of the Colossus didn't seem to have any inner lives, and it is imperative that giants have inner lives. What is the point of having a giant if he is not tormented? The meaning of giants is that they suffer. That is how they are like us. The way they are not like us is that they have puny creatures scrambling around their toes on whom they can vent their sorrows. That is also the way in which they are like us. The first politician to address the truly important question of what to do about the inner lives of giants will get my vote no matter what else he believes.
The new album by Abscess, Dawn of Inhumanity, is a total masterpiece of early-days style death metal blended with bursts of eighties hardcore beats and a little taste of sludgy pre-revival doom. Its cover, on which hooded illuminati carry an enthroned eyeball down a red carpet across a desert from whose sandy expanse rise occasional pyramids, inscrutable and vast, lit by the red sun behind them which is also an eyeball, is also something of a masterpiece. If the Shadow of the Colossus demo had managed to conjure up a vibe this enormous, I would probably be sitting on the floor in front of the TV playing it right now, even though that game came out several years ago. That is just how good this record is. It joins three other albums on the best-of-year-to-date list (Cathedral's The Guessing Game, Darkthrone's Circle the Wagons, and Owen Pallet's Heartland are the other ones) and will be hard for anybody to top: it sounds great. I'm a fan of everything that Chris Reifert's ever been involved with, so caveat something I guess, but if you're not a fan of something Reifert's done, then you probably aren't interested in this record in the first place. The rest of you should know what's up. There's a little something afoot, a sort of re-mining of some more interesting veins than the tapped ones that're getting most of the attention. Nothing totally new, but something pretty intriguing. Buy this record and safety-pin some patches to your denim. It's the right thing to do.
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