Xiphoid Dementia – Prison of Hope LP Reviews

30 April 2020 xdementia No Comment

From Phameless Zine:

Equal parts terrifying and beautiful, this album is an assault on the ears in all of the best ways – pounding relentlessly while managing to remain musical and carry a sense of motion. A build of aggression slathered in distortion and echo builds the title track to a point of orchestral explosion and denouement, leaving space to awake and escape in the mechanical dungeon of “ Essence Concussion” – continuing the lush soundtrack to a nightmare.
This album deserves good headphones – or more so, you deserve to hear this with good headphones. If you’re listening on laptop speakers or quietly in a room you’re only going to hear the noise that gives this genre its name – but when you allow yourself to be totally enveloped in the sound, it is a moving experience. The roaring din of “Blessed Byproduct” and the hammering static of “Necrotovator” become an emotional plea when you cut out the external noise of the world around you.

(for fans of – Whitehouse, Merzbow, NIN)

From Musique Machine:

Long awaited LP follow-up to 2012’s Secular Hymns, Divergent Series unleashes Xiphoid Dementia’s latest, Prison of Hope. Continually impossible to pigeonhole, Egan Budd (Existence Establishment, Headstone Brigade) rolls out the big guns for his full length return. Departing from and adding to his sound from his recent split with Bastard Noise, Xiphoid Dementia melds together cinematic grandeur, industrial urgency, bleak ambient, and almost pop sensibilities.

Emerging from the low, oily murk, the bubbling synths that open up Prison of Hope propel the track forward, while at the same time emphasizing the clinging and claustrophobic nature of the sounds put forth. Giving the listener respite from the sonic quicksand, XD adds in some distant, but encouraging, airy and clean notes. Giving space to breath between the rolling murk and the looping tones and samples ambulating just a but above, these highs open into a full-on cinematic soundscape fit for any aerial tour of a fantasy land. “Essence Concussion” shifts the tone back to metallic fervor and increases the propulsive element quite a bit. One can almost feel the Terminator hot on one’s heels in this one, and the reverbed distortion helps to close the walls in further. It’s impressive how the first side of this release can feel both open and claustrophobic at the same time. Side B ups the grimness ante quite a bit, and has a dark, mirrored effect to the beginning of Side A. “Blessed Byproduct” is short, rough, and a nice introduction into “Necrorotovator.” Bleak death industrial punctuated with bouts of calm while the reverb decays, the mid track of Side B has some crushing boiler room industrial moments and distorted machine moans not that unlinke early Einleitungszeit. The closer to the album is the biggest surprise on the album. Playing like a freaked out version of darkwave, “Black Sunrise” takes the album in a completely different direction. While it doesn’t sound like the previous tracks, it’s like they all culminated in this track and it’s a fitting conclusion to the album. Layers of synths and metallic hits form an almost pop like track on which Egan adds some cleanly sung vocals. Tough and beautiful, the horns add a tremendously soulful element and help to round out this surprise stunner.

Xiphoid Dementia’s latest is a departure from his split with Bastard noise, and as always, is done well and welcome. Not one to rush out product, each of Egan’s releases is deliberate and well thought out. With a nice LP by Divergent Series and artwork by Ghostsafe, Prison of Hope is a welcome addition to any industrial fan’s collection.

From Sideline Music Reviews:

Background/Info: Egan Budd set up Xiphoid Dementia in 1999. He released several productions featuring split releases and collaborations with other artists. His “Secular Hymns”-album released in 2012 on Malignant Records probably remains his most familiar work. Xiphoid Dementia is now back on track unleashing this mini-album with five tracks.
Content: The work of Egan Budd remains driven by heavy sound treatments and noise manipulations. The title track taking off gives you the impression of a nearby disaster taking place. There’s a menacing, dark sphere hanging over this cut, which will never totally disappear. Other tracks reveal elements of ambient music, the tracks are also revealing elements of ambient music, which rapidly moves on towards a heavier industrial format. Some other passages feel like pure improvisation while the last track is a kind of noise ballad featuring vocals and trumpet play by a guest musician.

+ + + : The opening (title) track is a heavy sonic cut, which is mixing overwhelming, blasting sound treatments together with a great, anguishing sphere. This track is a masterpiece. I also enjoy the next cut (cf. “Essence Concussion”) for its slow progression from ambient towards heavy electronics carried by rhythmic. The already mentioned last piece, “Black Sunrise” is not my favorite one, but the trumpet playing adds something special to the track, like creating an extra dimension.

– – – : This work is diversified, which I think always is a good thing, but I would have liked to get more tracks in the vein of “Prison Or Hope”. It could be also interesting to renew the experience with the trumpet, which has something magic. Unfortunately “Black Sunrise” is not my favorite cut from the album so the effect of the trumpet remains insufficient.
Conclusion: Xiphoid Dementia is not exactly the most renown project from the ‘industrial’ scene however this work is worthy of examination!
Best songs: “Prison Of Hope”, “Essence Concussion”.
Rate: (7).

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